Engaging Media Communications

Training designed to hone your media engagement and interview skills

With an increasing focus on your research having an impact beyond academia it is important for researchers to feel comfortable talking to the media. This in-person, full day workshop provides an exciting opportunity to get in-depth knowledge and practical media training from two experienced BBC producers and journalists, Claire Bolderson and Caroline Finnegan.

Two volunteers will also have the opportunity to be filmed being interviewed on their chosen subjects and constructively critiqued.  At the end of the workshop you will have a better understanding of how to use mainstream and social media to gain a wider audience for your research.

The Trainers

Claire Bolderson is a news journalist and documentary maker with more than 25 years’ experience at the BBC. She was the presenter of Newshour on the World Service and The World Tonight on Radio 4. Claire began her broadcasting career in Indonesia as a correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times. She went on to be a BBC correspondent in Washington in the mid-1990s. Since then, she has returned repeatedly to the US to report while also broadcasting from Africa, Europe, and Asia. Claire continues to make documentaries for the BBC. She is a regular guest commentator on the Weekend programme on the BBC World Service while also writing and blogging, mostly on UK politics and social affairs.  

Caroline Finnegan is a media training consultant with over 20 years of experience as a programme maker and producer at the BBC, formerly working in BBC World Newsgathering where she covered breaking global news, developed story ideas into features and documentaries, and worked on a number of radio series for BBC World Service Radio. She specialized in conflict zones such as Pakistan and Afghanistan but also travelled widely in the Middle East, America, Africa, Europe, China, India, and other parts of Asia. 

The Workshop

The day is designed to be fun as well as instructive, and active participation will be encouraged, The day will be split into three sections:

Part 1: Engaging with the Media

The first workshop will focus on finding and telling the story in your research clearly and effectively to a general audience. Participants will be guided through practical exercises and real-life examples and will learn how to prepare for and perform in, media interviews whether online or for radio or TV. It will also cover how to make yourself known to journalists through your academic or other public profiles and through social media engagement. 

1:1 Interviews (two available)

This session will be dedicated to one-to-one interview training for up to two volunteers in a separate room. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for one of these interviews.


A light lunch and refreshments will be available. 

Follow-up and feedback

This session provides an opportunity to view and give feedback on the recorded interviews, and discuss learnings from the morning session. The workshop ends with a Q and A session with the trainers.  

Book your place

This session is open to researchers from the Social Sciences Division. 

To book your place on the course, please click on the link below which will take you to COSY. Please also email amy.king@admin.ox.ac.uk with the following information by 12 noon on Monday 19th February:

  • Current course (for DPhil students) or role title (for research staff).
  • Year of study (for DPhil students)
  • Three sentences explaining your research area or project
  • Confirm you can attend the full session
  • Your dietary requirements

Places at this workshop are limited and are fully subsidised by the University, making it free for participants. If you are unable to attend please cancel your place as soon as possible so that we can reallocate it to others on the waiting list. 

Book your place on the workshop