So you want to be a science journalist
Whenever anyone asks me for advice about getting into science journalism, I sound like a broken record, so I'll save you an email: here's what I'll probably say!
...in whatever way you can! The sad reality is that many good opportunities don't pay, and only you know if you can afford to take on that kind of work. If at all possible, find an opportunity that pays you for your time -- you're worth it.
Some excellent paid opportunities:
If you're a scientist interested in journalism, consider the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship.
2. Do your research
The Open Notebook has a wealth of knowledge, including an entire section about getting started in science journalism. To read up on the state of journalism, check out the Columbia Journalism Review. Poynter, or Nieman Lab.
3. Find your people
Join a writers' organization. Ready for a bunch of acronyms? Here's a very US-centric list:
For writers from groups traditionally underrepresented in journalism:
Opportunities for Writers of Color on Twitter
Regional science writing groups:
SCONC (North Carolina)
Austin Science Writers
DCSWA (DC Science Writers
Northern California Science Writers
Capital Science Communicators (Sacramento)
SWINY (New York)
Southern California Science Writers
New England Science Writers
Badger Science Writers (Wisconsin)
And if these aren't enough, you can always create your own group of writers on Slack!
4. Get paid
Scrivener (for writing / storyboarding)
Pearnote (for note-taking and recording)
Toggl (for time tracking)
A good pen