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michael woods

Dear Randy,
That's an important question. How do we decide what is news? Simply put, we use the same approach that is standard throughout journalism. News is something worth knowing. It may be worthwhile for a variety of reasons. A new discovery, for instance, may be newsworthy if it connects with the everyday lives of people in ways that make life longer, healthier, or more pleasant. The ACS News Service makes those decisions in much the same way they were made by the newspaper company I worked for during the last 30 years. The News Service has experienced science writers and editors and other journalists who use their own news judgments. We also discuss these topics collectively in meetings much like editorial board meetings on a newspaper or magazine. For the ACS national meetings, we solicit recommendations from symposia organizers, who are familiar with the topics and the significance of the research.
Mike Woods

Randy Wedin

Michael,

10,000 abstracts??? That's a lot of reading.

How did you narrow down such a very large number of abstracts into a manageable group? And does ACS provide good vision coverage under its medical benefits?

It seems to me that the "hot topics" for a chemist might not be the same as the "hot topics" for a science journalist writing for a more general audience. In selecting topics that are worth of news releases, how do you strike a balance between cute/fun topics and substantive/jargon-rich topics?

Randy Wedin
freelance writer


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