What is the Science Media Centre?
The Science Media Centre (SMC) is an independent, not-for-profit resource for the media that promotes evidence-based science and up-to-date research to inform public debate on the major issues of the day.
The SMC works proactively with journalists to help them cover science as well as identify the science angles in everyday news stories. They also work with the scientific community to help them interact more effectively with the media and ensure that their voices are heard on issues of national importance.
Since opening in 2008, the SMC has injected evidence-based comment into more than 12,000 news reports and informed more than 250 mainstream issues such as:
- natural disasters
- food safety
- climate change
- stem cell research
MBIE has boosted funding to the SMC to enhance the quality and volume of:
- training and resources for journalists
- training and resources to support scientists and research organisations when responding to media queries
- networking between the key components of the science system and media
- developing tools and resources to support the media improve public access to New Zealand science content.
The SMC has also developed Scimex (Science Media Exchange), a website bringing together embargoed research, multimedia resources and expert profiles for journalists in Australasia.
Scimex is primarily focused on journalists covering science and research institutions, but also operates as a public resource, with content available for the public to view.
The aim of the site is to make New Zealand research and experts more accessible to the media, offering one central place for New Zealand’s science institutions to connect with journalists.
Why is it important?
Under A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara, the importance of improving the quality, depth and breadth of coverage of science related issues is recognised. This includes enhancing the reach of the SMC and in particular, its training and networking activities.