For several years now both seasoned science writers trying their hand at new media and graduate students turned citizen journalists have been bringing their take on ACS meetings to the blogosphere. But until now, only bloggers working for a media outlet had been enjoying the perks of the press room.
That all changed this week, when Mitch Andre Garcia, the tech savvy UC Berkeley grad student behind Chemical Forums and Chemistry Blog, was granted access to the journalists’ inner sanctuary. Mitch says his new media credentials haven’t changed the way he navigates the meeting, although he does appreciate the press room's free coffee and Internet access.Charmayne Marsh of the ACS Communications Office says that the society is keen to get news from the ACS meeting to the public and that blogs are increasingly becoming a venue for science journalism. Bloggers who'd like to get credentials to the press room in Salt Lake City will be able to apply via the National Meeting Press Center, which goes online before the meeting. Just having some real estate in cyberspace won't automatically get you a press badge, though. Charmayne says that before giving Mitch the stamp of approval, she had a look at the type of posts he writes and had a few e-mail exchanges with him. She says she found him to be extremely professional.