Choosing the best way to spread your science news
By Toss Gascoigne
As people who organise events, make announcements, publish research results or try to change behaviours, what’s the most effective way we can reach our audiences?
Social media or newspapers? Bakelite radio or Facebook?
As always, it depends on what you have to say and who you’re trying to reach. And—crucially—how old they are.
As Douglas Adams said, we’re comfortable with anything that is in the world at the time we’re born, but stuff invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things. Be wary of trying to reach pensioners or teenagers via Twitter.
Bakelite radio, 1945. Image: Joe Haupt
Despite the much-heralded demise of the traditional newspaper, I’m still a print-media person. The day begins with Radio National Breakfast with Fran, marmalade and toast, and the Sydney Morning Herald. If I’m your target audience, that’s the pathway.
Are there any concessions to this, and what about choices? Yes, on-line versions of the major dailies and news sites are fine: Guardian, Herald, ABC. And The Australian, for headlines; only subscribers can read the details and I’m not planning to make the Murdochs any richer.
As for choices, my friend Cathy says she decided the world was not big enough for Facebook and Twitter, and she went for Twitter as her avenue of business communication.
If you want to be really scared about what the future holds for media, spreading ideas and who is going to control things, read how technology may be taking over control intelligently!