Vega`s remit is that the science must be reliably presented and not sacrificed for programme production values. It is often felt, rightly or wrongly, that in the media the reverse applies. What certainly is the case is there can be a large communication gap between the two, with journalists unable to grasp the scientific arguments and the scientists unable to provide the journalists with what they need for the story.
"There is a real gap between science and society. Two thirds of participants in the survey think that they are badly informed on science and technology while 45.3% declare that they are interested in the topics."
European Union "Science and Society" report
However there`s light at the end of the tunnel. The enormous popularity of science broadcasts shows there is public appetite to know more, and if you`re unhappy with the way science is presented in the media, it`s up to you to do something about it!
A first port of call is the press office at your institution. They often produce guidebooks for dealing with the media and should be able to help you with media contacts and everything from writing press releases to giving interviews. You might also want to get yourself onto your institution`s expert directory, and possibly that of Alpha Galileo.
"It`s not my job to make sure you get funding, it`s not my job to help you win a Nobel prize, and it`s not my job to help you get tenure. My job is to report news that`s important, unusual and interesting. We are in the business of selling magazines, and science stories are blockbusters at the newsstand."
When thinking about publicising your work, bear in mind that the press will want some form of story. You will need to think about why the public should be interested in what you have to say, and possibly draw more heavily on the background and context of the work than you would for scientific writing.
Finally, if you have a good idea but do not know where to take it, let us know! Even if we cannot help directly we may be able to point you in the right direction.