News Reporting: from Dogs to Nuclear Energy

by Kathryn on December 29, 2015

I recently started covering news stories for Science News for Students. Usually, I have anywhere from a couple of weeks to over a month to research a topic, conduct interviews, write, and revise an article. As a news reporter, though, I have to turn around a story within a couple of days. That keeps me on my toes!

The most interesting part has been scheduling interviews with scientists all over the world during times when my son will (hopefully) be sleeping. I interviewed an ethologist in Tomsk, Russia at 10:00 PM my time. I had never heard of ethology before — it’s the study of animal behavior. I also had to postpone an interview with a nuclear energy expert because my son (who always goes to sleep within 10 minutes) took 45 minutes to get to sleep that day.

But everything worked out in the end. I wrote four news stories during November and December this year:

Some 3-D printing can leave toxic taint

Engineers consider liquid salt to generate power

Some otters wear red algae

Do dogs have a sense of self?

My favorite of the four is the one about sea otters. I loved that I was able to open with a narrative about a scientist out observing a particular otter, and also connect the news to other related important topics, such as farm runoff and algal blooms.

I’m looking forward to covering more science news in 2016!



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