World Federation of
Science Journalists


SjCOOP Asia, a mentoring project in science journalism in Asia

SjCOOP’s core idea is supporting science journalists to help each other in the professional skills development through mentoring. SjCOOP helps develop a learning community of science journalists in a region, and link science journalists with young journalists who want to develop their professional skills in science-related reporting.

The World Federation of Science Journalists is bringing SjCOOP to Asia for the first time: SjCOOP Asia builds on our successful SjCOOP Africa and the Arab World while mingling into the Asian context.

SjCOOP Asia will give the core group of journalists the opportunity to develop the professional skills required for a science journalist. They will be able to explain the latest important scientific and technological developments, but they will also bring scientific knowledge and rigor to the coverage of health, biomedicine, food and nutrition, energy, disasters and climate change. These journalists will play a major role in debunking false rumors, providing rational causes of disasters, and explaining how research and science can help societies progress.

SjCOOP will twin experienced science journalists (mentors) with early-career journalists (mentees). Mentors will coach and mentor their mentees to improve mentees’ skills at covering agriculture, climate change, health, disaster reduction, energy, environment and other science and technology issues.

Mentees (trainees) and mentors (trainers) will be organized in three groups: Vietnamese-speaking group, Bahasa Indonesian-speaking group, and English-speaking group. Each group will be led by a group leader. Each group will consist of two mentors and eight to ten journalists (mentees). The mentoring will be performed in one of the three languages by group.

The entire project period is in total two years from June 2013 to June 2015, of which mentoring period will be 18 months from July 2013 to December 2014. It will mainly be distance mentoring, but every six month, participants will be invited to a face-to-face meeting between mentors and mentees, associated to field visits or scientific conferences in Asia.

Each mentor will accompany 4 to 5 journalists during 18 months of teaching on how to become a professional science and technology reporter. The mentoring will be based on a peer-to-peer coaching, i.e. the mutual sharing of professional challenges, best practices and expertise between colleagues.

Apply to become a Mentee in