WFSJ launches project in Africa & Middle East
February 19, 2006
posted in SjCOOP
African, Arab science journalists link with colleagues
(St. Louis, USA, 19 February 2006) Science journalists from Africa and the Middle East will partner with Northern and other Southern journalists in an international peer-to-peer network, the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ
) announced at the 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Annual Meeting in St. Louis today.
Wilson da Silva, President of the WFSJ
, a global network of 27 associations of science reporters, announced the launch of the first of what the Federation hopes will be many more such projects.
This network builds on the contributions of WFSJ
members, both journalists and associations, and will strengthen science journalism in developing countries. Canada's International Development Research Centre
is providing initial funding of CA$800,000 for the 3-year project.
"We hope to make a difference in the professional lives of science journalists in the developing world initially in the Middle East and Africa, but later in Asia and Latin America," said da Silva, who is also editor of the Australian science magazine, Cosmos
"Our objective is to support journalists who want to report on science, but lack the peer support and training more common in wealthier nations. Diran Onifade, science journalist with the Nigerian Television Authority, commented: "This is will certainly help bridge the capacity challenge we face as science journalists on the African continent."
"The project will expose journalists in the Middle East and Africa to the latest techniques of science reporting. We hope to give 60 journalists the opportunity to report on emerging science developments advances and issues in their regions. They will also be connected to the tremendous network of contacts, advice and opportunities offered by the WFSJ
and its 27 affiliated associations," da Silva added.
The 3-year project will create a network of peer-to-peer relationships providing journalists in developing countries with opportunities to improve their skills in communicating complex scientific information to the general public. It will also provide services and support to nascent associations of science journalists at the national, regional and international levels.
Peer-to-peer learning is a well-established means of on the job training for journalists. The project will extend the concept to associations through the twinning of nascent and established associations of science journalists.
The World Federation of Science Journalists is looking forward to the participation of its member associations and of many experienced science journalists to make a success of this promising project.
Commenting is close
To find out how to volunteer as a mentor, contribute or participate in the project contact: Jean-Marc Fleury, Executive Director, World Federation of Science Journalists, at firstname.lastname@example.org
File : WFSJ 19Feb06.doc