The Open Notebook has launched a new community program, called the Covering Science Slack, which could be a great opportunity for some journalist readers of the COVID-19 Data Dispatch. In this Slack server, general assignment and local journalists who are interested in improving their science reporting skills engage in discussions with experienced science journalists, who serve as mentors.
After a 12-week pilot program in 2022, the Covering Science Slack is now expanding: applications are open for a new cohort to join the Slack community. This iteration of the program has funding for regular discussions and activities through at least September 2023, and it’s free for participants.
Here’s how TON describes the program in their call for applications:
This community includes local and general-assignment reporters and editors, as well as a smaller number of experienced science journalists who serve as mentors within the group. Members are invited to seek (and offer) advice on any topic related to covering science, such as how to exchange ideas on topics such as finding suitable expert sources, refining story angles, evaluating scientific studies and claims, making sense of new findings and their implications, and more. Members can also participate in various types of learning opportunities and activities, including one-on-one peer mentoring, guided Slack discussions, reading groups, webinars centered on core challenges of covering science, and informal virtual gatherings.
With support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, we are now accepting applications for new members. The program will run at least through September, 2023, and we hope to establish the program as a sustainable, continuously running community.
I know a lot of COVID-19 Data Dispatch readers are local or general-assignment journalists; if you fit into this category, please consider applying to join the Slack server! It’s a great opportunity to learn more about science reporting in an informal setting, with a relatively low time commitment. Also, I’m now one of the mentors in the server, if that’s a draw for anyone.
Transparency note: This is not a paid advertisement or anything in that capacity, though I have written for The Open Notebook in the past (including a collaborative project between TON and the CDD). I’m just sharing this because I think it’s a valuable opportunity and would love for readers to take advantage of it.