Taking Your Family Science Research Public: Media Training Workshop

2019 NCFR Preconference Workshop
November 19, 2019 1:00pm - 5:00pm
$75 per participant
Omni Fort Worth Hotel | Fort Worth, Texas

Stephanie Coontz

Learn how to effectively take your scholarly research and best practice findings public — and the benefits of doing so — in this hands-on workshop led by Stephanie Coontz, M.A., who has extensive experience writing and speaking about family research in the public arena.

In this highly personalized and interactive setting, participants will practice finding and fine-tuning their take-away points; responding to journalists' questions; and/or making short statements for the radio or television, receiving feedback from Coontz and other workshop participants., Coontz will address the challenges of messaging and handling difficult topics in ways that reflect the improvisational quality of working with media.

Coontz will also explain how to construct publishable opinion pieces (op-eds) for the mainstream media, outlining the roles of hooks, ledes, nut graphs, and kickers. Finally, you’ll learn how to avoid common pitfalls in describing research to the media or policymakers.

Bonus: Coontz will edit the first three op-ed or blog drafts that participants send to her following the workshop.

Registration cap: 16 participants

Register for Workshop & Other Conference Events >>

Intended Audience

  • Scholars and practitioners at any career level who want to take their research and best-practice findings public by writing opinion pieces, explaining their findings to journalists or policymakers, and/or participating in interviews or talk shows on radio or TV.
  • Please note: This preconference is not designed for those who attended Coontz’s NCFR preconference workshop in 2015.

Learning Objectives

By completing this training, participants will know:

The focus of this workshop will vary for each participant depending on your specific interests and areas of expertise, but overall participants will learn:

  • how to identify what parts of their work will most interest a broader audience;
  • how to change academic conventions of writing and speaking that turn audiences off;
  • how to frame arguments in ways that recognize and speak to differing moral frameworks and anxieties; 
  • how to become a news source (and when not to be one), how to get quoted, and how to minimize the chance of being misquoted;
  • how to write op-eds, blogs, and letters to the editor that get published;
  • how to handle statistics and figures, find powerful examples or anecdotes, and translate graphs and figures into clear sentences; and 
  • how to get comfortable doing radio and TV: Learn the secret audition lurking behind every radio or television pre-interview, and practice how to bridge back to key take-away points during interviews and talk shows.

Presenter Bio

Stephanie Coontz, M.A., is professor emerita at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where she continues to serve as resource faculty. She is also the director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families. She has written five sole-authored books on the history of family, gender, and marriage and has edited two others. She has contributed chapters to more than 25 books and keynoted professional conferences in seven countries including the United States.

Coontz has extensive experience speaking and writing in the public arena. She has testified about her research before the U.S. House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families in Washington, D.C., and been a featured presenter in venues such as PopTech. She has appeared on numerous news and talk shows, including The Colbert Report, the Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, PBS News Hour, The O’Reilly Factor, and more. She has published more than two dozen op-eds in the New York Times — where she also spent six months as a guest columnist — and another two dozen for CNN. She has written for many other national and international mainstream media publications, as well as for scholarly journals and professional publications such as NCFR’s Journal of Marriage and Family and Journal of Family Theory & Review; Family Therapy Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, and National Forum. You can find selected articles and TV appearances at stephaniecoontz.com.


You may add the preconference to your full or single-day NCFR conference registration, or register for and attend this preconference only (without attending the rest of the NCFR conference). Registration coming soon!