After reading the Michael Silverblatt Interview, Excerpts from Zinnser’s on Writing Well, A Farewell to Scienceblogs: the Changing Science Blogging Ecosystem, How to Tell Kooky Nuts in the Addiction Field, I can definitely say reading is not only important, it is essential to science journalism.
We can see this fact in the Michael Silverblatt Interview, where Silverblatt expresses his views on the importance of reading the actual work of the author he’s about to interview in order to really be able to get “real responses” from them. I think this is even more important to science journalists as they’re interviewing scientists who KNOW their work inside and out and as the subject is “science”, a certain degree of knowledge is required in order to correctly approach.
Reading is also important as one should not only know of the subject matter, but of many others that may overlap or interact with one another. A scientific subject may have effects on other fields of science, humanities, and maybe even the arts therefore it would be only prudent to know of such connections.
Also, as was recounted by the former scienceblogs.com blogger, it is only prudent to cite other sources when referring to anything that has to do with science. In doing so, the journalist allows his/her readers or editors to refer to his/her sources for themselves thus allowing accountability. At the same time, it also builds his/her credibility and renown for being an honest and thorough writer among his peers and audience.
Reading is also important in order for one to know what stories are worth looking into. How would one find news worthy materials when one does not look for it? There are numerous science journals that are published both online and in print therefore there should be no excuse why one should not read.
It is my opinion that without reading, one cannot improve upon himself as a writer. If one does not even have the proficiency to write well, how much more can one dissect the jargon-filled published research materials who’s intended audience are those in the know. The answer is, you cannot.