A press release has only one aim; to capture the interest of a journalist and inspire them to write their own article delivering that information to the general public. It must be clear and concise, but also catchy. Rachel Kerr, a journalist for the BBC news online, has to sort through many potential stories every day and can only devote a short amount of time to each one. If the information isn’t clear because the language is too specialised or if the press release is confusing, it is simply thrown away and forgotten about. Within a matter of seconds, the fate of a scientist’s hard work is decided as without media popularity and interest, funding may dry up or the project may not be pursued.
When actually writing an article, it is vital to remain impartial, adhering to the factual and unbiased writing style that the BBC is renowned for. Other papers, which generally stick to a tabloid writing style, tend to stay away from scientific articles.
It is crucial that Rachel does not give the general public false optimism, so it must be hopeful but cautious throughout. When discussing potential treatments for diseases, it is necessary to reiterate that although new research is providing hope for the future, there are many safety protocols that drugs need to pass before they can used as a medication. People must be aware that the new drug they’re excited about might not be available for many years to come and unfortunately, in some cases, this may be too late.