Tag Archives: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Instant impact

Because the good that comes of serious journalism is often very hard to document, and the shallow/self-promotional/leering aspects of many mass media outlets are so obvious, journalists are, as Jack Shafer notes over at Reuters, easy targets for demonization ala Gingrich.  But this Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists column by Dawn Stover not only got the attention of the Energy Department; Energy is making improvements to its new website  based on Stover’s criticisms, just days after they hit the InterWebs. Not every good journalistic deed can show such clear results, so it’s important–at a time when visionless Tribune-esque beancounters and cheerleading Webtastic click-chasers rule much of the media landscape–to note the stories that do have impact. Journalism is different than marketing and SEO; it has intrinsic value to the culture. But no one’s going to acknowledge, protect or reward that value if journalists don’t point it out now and again.

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The truth about Fukushima. In English and Japanese.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists posted its Fukushima issue today, which I think has a lot of interesting/deep/new pieces written by leading experts about the nuclear disaster in Japan. (Such as “Fukushima: The myth of safety, the reality of geoscience,” which shows that in the decades after the nuclear plant was built, the authorities discovered historical records and other science that showed Fukushima was vulnerable to a giant tsunami, but they did nothing to protect the plant.)

And the Bulletin did something even cooler than good in-depth journalism: It translated these expert analyses of the Fukushima catastrophe into Japanese. This is how Bulletin editor Mindy Kay Bricker explains the reasoning behind translation project: “Those in genuine need of erudite analysis are, of course, those directly affected by the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese population. Stellar coverage by Western news outlets might win awards, but what is the point if those who most deserve the information never benefit from reading it?”

Bricker’s piece announcing the Fukushima issue is here. The Japanese translation of the Fukushima issue is here. The table of contents for the Fukushima issue is here.

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Bulletin: senior editor wanted

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has an opening for a senior editor to lead a rather interesting international project. The description is below. It’s a full-time, telecommuting gig that will be a joy for the person with the right background. This won’t be advertised til next week, so if you’re a journalist, you know–right this instant–the value of reading my blog: Maybe a few days’ head start.

If you’re a friend, feel free to ask questions via email or Facebook. All others must use comments.

The gig:

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is searching for an organized, creative, and committed senior editor to develop, organize, and implement a monthly Roundtable, an essay forum on nuclear disarmament, energy, and development. This Roundtable will draw on experts in developing countries and inform policy leaders and civil society organizations worldwide.

For each monthly Roundtable the senior editor will identify and commission three international writers to tackle a Roundtable question. The goal of this feature is to encourage the participation of developing country governmental and nongovernmental experts in international discussion and action on disarmament and nonproliferation in the context of economic and political development.

The successful candidate is an efficient, detailed, and talented editor capable of identifying international experts, commissioning them to write for the Roundtable, and working with them to create copy that is strong in language and provocative and insightful in thought. The editor must have experience working with international authors and be comfortable pushing authors to hit deadlines. The senior editor will also oversee three translators, so the successful candidate must be highly organized, as he/she will be juggling six schedules in potentially six different time zones. This position is a three-year commitment, so we are looking for someone who can take ownership of this project and make it into something truly spectacular. In addition to the Roundtable, the senior editor will also assist in commissioning and editing articles on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, biosecurity, and climate change for the Bulletin’s website and, on occasion, for the digital journal.

Our authors are leading scientists and experts in their fields.  The senior editor works closely and collaboratively with the editor and with these experts to create compelling articles that are accessible to lay audiences. All candidates must have an interest in disarmament issues. Successful candidates will come prepared with solid ideas for Roundtable questions, as well as a list of writers who could tackle the proposed questions. All candidates must have excellent editing skills, experience editing writers who speak English as a second language, as well as the ability to work with high-profile writers and experts.

Requirements: Candidate must hold a degree in journalism or other relevant discipline or profession, have at least five solid years editing experience, understand basic HTML, and have experience with Drupal or a similar CMS. This position requires not only coordinating a Roundtable each month, but also overseeing three translators and ensuring these translators hit their deadlines. Salary is commensurate with experience, in the range of $47-$57k. This is a full-time, telecommuting position with benefits.

What to send: If this sounds like a good fit for you, please send your résumé, cover letter, three (3) published samples of your editing work (before and after), and Roundtable ideas to mbricker@thebulletin.org; please type “Roundtable Editor” in the subject line. What do we mean by “Roundtable ideas”? Send us three proposed Roundtable questions, along with the authors who you think could tackle each Roundtable—that’s three questions and 9 author suggestions (three authors per Roundtable). Keep in mind that a successful Roundtable is as much about the stellar essays as it is showing off your journalistic instincts of what personalities and perspectives would work in each Roundtable. We will not consider candidates without editing clips and Roundtable ideas.

Your cover letter should tell us about your experience, your editing abilities, and your understanding and interest in the issues that we cover.

What to know: Due to the volume of resumes, we will not respond unless we are interested in interviewing you. Please refrain from sending multiple emails, and please do not call.

Who we are: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which was established in 1945 by scientists, engineers, and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, informs the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences. Through an award-winning digital journal, our website, and the Doomsday Clock, we reach policy leaders and audiences around the world with information and analysis about efforts to address the dangers and prevent catastrophe.

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