World Federation of
Science Journalists

South African Science Journalists' Association (SASJA)

South Africa

Established: 2008
The South African Science Journalists Association is a professional association for journalists, authors, university students, academics and communicators with an interest in science, in a country where about twenty percent of the adults are illiterate, roughly a quarter of the adult population is unemployed and very few teenagers graduate from high school with university-level science or mathematics passes.
Key Activities:
Sharing knowledge and resources and encouraging debate amongst members. Communication via Googlegroups, set up by Lynne Smit from Of Course communications company, and a Facebook group set up by Christina Scott of the SABC.
Almost 40 members, many of them freelancers. Science communicators from institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch and the Sci-Bono science centre in Johannesburg are members as well. The bulk of its membership is in Cape Town, although Johannesburg is the economic heart of the country.
WFSJ (member); in talks with another science journalism organisation about twinning.
The leading officers of our organization are elected at the general meeting, once a year, on Skype. The executive office-bearers meet once a month. Anso Thom, the 2010 to 2011 president, is the print editor of Health-e, a donor-funded news agency for print and radio, with offices in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, focusing on HIV/AIDS, public health and health policy. In 2009, Anso co-edited The Virus, Vitamins and Vegetables, a selection of essays documenting South Africa’s politically-driven HIV tragedy. Anso also won ‘best report in Africa for HIV/AIDS’ in 2006 at the CNN African Journalist of the Year awards and the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Health Journalism in 1999.
Financing: Self-funding through memberships.
Mandi Smallhorne
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