Science! (in Education Reporting)
From vetting studies to connecting with experts, tips on smart coverage of COVID-19 and public schools
(EWA Radio: Episode 253)
How can education reporters do a better job of incorporating science into their coverage of students and schools, especially as the evolving research around COVID-19 dominates discussions about how and when to reopen campuses? What’s known about the relative health risks to students and staff, and what are some examples of responsible coverage of this ongoing debate? Hannah Furfaro of The Seattle Times’ Education Lab offers tips for digging into a scientific study, including making sense of the methodology, conclusions, and limitations. What are some red flags to watch out for when research is cited to back up a policy decision like closing — or reopening — schools? What are the top questions journalists should ask themselves, and their sources, when they write such stories? Furfaro, who has covered both the education and science beats, also shares story ideas for reporters covering the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on education.