World Federation of Science Journalists

Do you want to be a SjCOOP mentee?

March 5, 2010

Do you want to be a part of the toughest and most demanding (and rewarding) science journalism training program ever?

On the 20th of February 2010, the World Federation of Science Journalists launched SjCOOP, the most demanding training scheme in science journalism ever implemented.

SjCOOP phase I Mentees,  Doha Qatar, February 2008
From September 2010 to September 2012, SjCOOP participants will be challenged with an ordeal of tutoring, mentoring, training, internships, reporting, and meetings.

During its first phase, from 2006 to 2009, some 81 journalists entered the SjCOOP program. All of them benefited to some extent, but only 32 made it all the way to full graduation. Survivors were rewarded with international freelancing opportunities, awards, travel opportunities, and promotions.

This second phase of SjCOOP will aim at training 60 journalists (mentees) from Africa and the Arab world. These journalists will have the opportunity to develop their skills in the reporting of the scientific and technological dimensions of crucial issues in health, environment, agriculture and science and technology in general. Training will be offered in Arabic, English and French.

SjCOOP is played by two teams: mentees twinned with mentors.

During the first five months, mentees will walk with their mentors through the Federation’s online course in science journalism. This distance tutoring is followed by another five months of mentoring which then looks at all aspects of the science journalism profession, from basic writing skills to career development.

After ten months of tutoring and mentoring, mentees then take the initiative. They will undertake a full year of science reporting, with ever increasing level of difficulties, all the way to investigative science reporting and coordinated reporting with colleagues from other countries on transborders issues.

Throughout the ordeal, mentees will have opportunities to meet their mentors face to face four times during specific workshops and conferences for science journalists. SjCOOP will also support internships for mentees, as much as possible, in the media of their mentors.

Several evaluations will provide reality checks on the progress of each mentee as a professional science journalist.

Selected mentees will be announced at the beginning of June 2010.
The World Federation of Science Journalists is implementing SjCOOP as a unique opportunity for journalists in Africa and in the Arab World to become skilled at covering demanding scientific and technological issues.

Successful SjCOOP graduates will be rewarded with an international network of contacts including freelancing opportunities. They will also be supported to establish and grow their own national and regional associations.

If you think you have what it takes to become a SjCOOP mentees, read “Mentee in Science Journalism” which gives more details on the mentee’s tasks and required qualifications and fill-in the electronic form.

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(note: this news was edited on April 24, 2010)