Who I am: Naomi Arnold
Where I live: New Zealand
What I do: Wanting to write about science and the natural world is what got me into journalism. I had always loved reading and writing, but in 2007 I was living in South Korea and visited the DMZ, where I learned that endangered plants and animals had flourished since the area was sealed off after the Korean War. It perfectly encapsulated the science-nature-human triumvirate I really enjoy writing about now. It was the first story I deeply wanted to research and write. I returned to New Zealand and studied for a post-grad journalism qualification at the University of Canterbury in 2008. I was lucky to be awarded a science journalism scholarship to Antarctica with Antarctica New Zealand. I spent 12 weeks at Scott Base writing stories and really fell in love with learning fascinating things and figuring out how to convey them to readers.
Why science journalism: Having your mind blown on a regular basis as you learn a new fact or about the intricacies of a system.
Suggestions for newcomers:
- Learn how to work with scientists respectfully – many don’t trust the media, so you’re representing your whole industry – and do your best to convey their work as accurately as possible while maintaining readability for a general audience.
- Challenge and check every assumption you make in your writing and reporting – the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.
- Read the best work you can find and try to break down how and why it is so compelling.