Nick Clark KSJ Fellow
"The field of journalism plays a crucial role in helping the public understand science. To get it right, journalists need to get the science right, and then make it comprehensible to the lay public."
Knight Science Journalism Fellow '13-14
Nick has worked as an anchor/correspondent for Al Jazeera English based in Doha, Qatar. His chief focus is on the environment, and last year he hosted Al Jazeera’s coverage of the Doha Climate Change Conference.
What drew you to the KSJ Program versus others?
The KSJ program has a reputation that is second to none. It provides me with the opportunity to study at MIT in my chosen field with access to key people who are experts in their field. MIT is on the frontline of research so it’s a privilege to be here, in addition to it tremendously facilitating my work.
What roles do the media and journalists play in breaking down obstacles that impede the public’s engagement with science?
The field of journalism plays a crucial role in helping the public understand science, and in my case, primarily global warming. To get it right, journalists need to get the science right, and then make it comprehensible to the lay public.
The whole climate change story has become one of confusion and apparent scientific contradiction, therefore, people either do not believe it is happening or choose to ignore it because they do not understand it. The blame for much of this can be laid at the media’s door, but also climate scientists need to reassess how they broadcast their message. That’s why programs like KSJ are so extraordinarily important, especially in this day and age where expertise is being diluted in many new media forms.