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HEY YOU, LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY RESEARCH! How to use the media to reach the public

The Graduate Programme for Public Health

Content and aim of this seminar:
When scientists receive national and international funding, the foundations require disseminating the research to the public, however, many researchers feel uncomfortable in contacting or being contacted by journalists. But knowledge commits. Scientists are obliged to tell the public about their findings and research, but many omits media contact as they feel misinterpreted by journalists and feel that they are misquoted. The scientific communication rules do not apply in the journalistic world which may lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.

 This course will provide the participants with an understanding of how journalists work, how to collaborate with them when communicating their research findings. It will give the participants tools to sharpen the key message of the story when pitching it to a journalist, and help defining the target groups and media selection. In addition, they will be taught how to make their story short and precise. Through practical plenum exercises and individual homework, the participants will get hands on with different journalistic genres. 

Learning objectives:

  1. Insight and understanding of the news criteria, the inverted journalistic triangle, and the basic principles in journalistic writing.
  2. Understand how journalists work and know how to collaborate with them and communicate research findings.
  3. Identify target groups and differentiate between different media when pitching your research.
  4. Know and demonstrate the use of different journalistic genres aimed for various media (blogs, press release, essay, discussion or feature article) with the purpose of disseminating science and extend the public knowledge and benefits of scientific work.
  5. Use basic and easy-to-use tools for how to communicate to an audience that reaches beyond the scientific peers.
  6. How to get to the point when you have 90 seconds, interview techniques.

Lectures, practical plenum exercises based on cases, group work, mandatory homework, oral group feedback and individual written feedback of homework

Mandatory pre-reading

  • ‘Forstå dog, hvad jeg mener – guide til kommunikation og mediehåndtering for læger og forskere’ by Charlotte Strøm. SharPen ISBN 9788799481217
  • English version (to be released as an e-book by June 2018)


    This list comprises additional, optional reading material (Danish or English) of relevance to the course

  • ’Science Communication’ by Davies Sarah R. Horst Maja Palgrave Macmillan ISBN: 9781137503640
  • ’Constructive news’ by Ulrik Haagerup. Aarhus Universitetsforlag ISBN10:8771844503
  • ‘Den der råber lyver’ by Lea Korsgaard. Zetland ISBN 9788793066434
  • ’Fake news – Når virkeligheden taber’ by Vincent Hendricks and Mads Vestergaard. Gyldendal ISBN 9788702247268

Course director:
Tina Kold Jensen,Professor, MD, PhD, journalist, Department of Environmental Medicine, SDU

Charlotte Strøm, MD, PhD, journalist, and author.
Founder and owner of SharPen – Medicine in Media.

Professor, MD, PhD, journalist Tina Kold Jensen

PhD candidates and supervisors attached to the PhD-programme of Social Studies in Medicine, but other participants are also welcome.

SDU, Odense

ECTS credits: 2

Course fee:
The course is free of charge for PhD students af the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark. 
The course fee (covering materials) for other PhD students enrolled in Universities that have joined the "Open market agreement" is DKK 1,633. 
External participants/non-PhD students must pay a fee of DKK 8,907.



Last Updated 24.06.2021