World Federation of Science Journalists

Science Development Network launches major survey on science journalists


May 3, 2012

The Science Development Network—a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world—has launched a major research project to find out more information about science journalists who supply the network with the news it publishes. SciDev.Net also wants to understand more about the use, impacts and potential future needs of science and technology news in the world.

In collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE), the network is doing surveys in five regions—Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia and Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. They are engaging all of their stakeholders—science journalists, media, academics and researchers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public and private sector partners.

“What has become clear to us is that there is very little quantitative data on science journalists; a position we want to change,” said Tracy Irvine, head of Business Development at SciDev.Net.

“Our intention is to generate global information on science communication and regional differences, as well as collect information on mainstream journalists who write about science,” she added. “If time and resources allow it, we will perform longitudinal studies to continue monitoring trends in the next decade.”

Science Development Network hopes that once they have collected baseline information, they will better understand the differing conditions that science journalists work with throughout the world. The collected data will help SciDev.Net develop future user-led services.

The results of the survey will be published in a peer-reviewed journal by the end of this year, and the report will be made widely available through the SciDev.net website.

Since its launch ten years ago, SciDev.Net has become a global science for development news and analysis service with close to 1.3 million users per year. It has established a global network of science journalists, with over 90% of articles written by reporters from developing and emerging countries.

Through their website (www.scidev.net), they provide policymakers, researchers, the media and civil society information and a platform to explore how science and technology can reduce poverty, improve health and raise standards of living around the world. They also work to build developing countries’ capacity for communicating science and technology through regional networks of committed individuals and organizations, practical guidance and specialist workshops.

Science journalists from around the world are invited to fill the online survey at www.scidev.net.
The survey is available in Arabic, French and English, and the links are below.

The deadline to participate to the survey is May 13, 2012.

English:
www.psych.lse.ac.uk/surveys/WCSJ_questionnaire_SciDev
French:
http://www.psych.lse.ac.uk/surveys/wcsj_questionnaire_scidev_french/
Arabic:
http://www.psych.lse.ac.uk/surveys/WCSJ_questionnaire_SciDev_Arabic/