World Federation of
Science Journalists

Become a Mentor

You Want to Be a Mentor in Science Journalism?
Join SjCOOP Asia(Science journalism COOPeration in Asia) as a mentor!


The WFSJ is looking for science journalists who can train journalists from Asia
in one of the languages: English, or Vietnamese, or Bahasa Indonesian!

The World Federation of Science Journalists is set to launch SjCOOP, a mentoring project in science journalism in Southeast Asia. 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 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 coordinator. Each group will consist of 2 mentors and 8 to 10 journalists (mentees). The mentoring will be performed in one of these 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 four 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 two years 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. The project is looking for mentors with a solid experience in science journalism, who can be a role model for mentees.

Benefits for Mentors
  • You become a trainer in science journalism with the World Federation of Science Journalists
  • International network and contacts with world-class science journalists
  • Opportunities to share experience with journalists around the world
  • Freelancing opportunities for international publications
  • Awards and travel opportunities
  • Stipend for your work as a mentor
Activities

Mentors will have to commit to the following activities:
  1. 18-month of online mentoring at a distance:
    • Tutor and guide mentees in their studying of the 10 lessons of the online science journalism course
    • Guide and coach mentees at least two stories per mentee per month before publication or broadcasting (Topic and angle selection, research plan, writing, editing, pitching to editors etc.)
  2. During the first year:
    • One five-day Training session for mentors: June 24-28, 2013, in Helsinki, Finland at the 2013 World Conference of Science Journalists
    • One five-day face-to-face meeting in each country by group: Vietnam, Indonesia, around September 2013
    • One five-day Training session for mentors: November 2013, in Tokyo, Japan
    • One five-day face-to-face meeting in each country by group: Vietnam, Indonesia, around March 2014
  3. During the second year:
    • One five-day regional face-to-face meeting in Tokyo, Japan: around September 2014
    • One five-day regional face-to-face meeting at the 2015 World Conference of Science Journalists (Time and location to be determined)
If you want to become a Mentor
Mentor: essential qualifications and requirements
  • At leat 10 years of highly successful experience as a journalist with a minimum of five years in science journalism
  • Experience in editing, or training journalists
  • Able to give the time needed for the mentoring
  • Strong interest in helping and motivating mentees
  • Respectful and open-minded
  • Internet connection
  • Currently working as a journalist in Vietnamese or Bahasa Indonesian or English
    (Vietnamese if you are applying for the Vietnamese group, Indonesian if you are applying for the Indonesian group, English if you are applying for the English-speaking group)
  • Ability to speak, understand, and write in English.
  • Computer skills using Email and electronic documents

Mentor: useful experiences and qualifications
  • Presently working as a science journalist, freelance or for a media(Print, Web and Radio)
  • Previous experience in mentoring, coaching, or teaching of science journalism is a plus
  • Professional track record as a science journalist recognized by prizes, awards or scholarships

Mentor: Tasks and responsibilities
  • Participate in all five-day training workshops and face-to-face meetings
  • Mentor 4 to 5 journalists during 18 months
  • Build a relationship of trust, respect and friendship with mentees
  • Provide advice, comments and suggestions on the best practices in science journalism
  • Tutor the mentees in the lessons of the Online Course of Science Journalism developed by the World Federation of Science Journalists
  • Design with each mentee a customized individual mentoring scheme for the whole mentoring period
  • Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of articles or audio productions of mentees (at least one article per month per mentee) to help mentees improve their ability to cover science and technology
  • Regularly report to the Coordinator and Project Manager on the progress of mentoring of each mentee
Contract and stipends

The different tasks of a mentor will be detailed in a contract between the mentor and the World Federation of Science Journalists.

Mentors are expected to work 1.5 days per week. As recognition of the mentor’s work, each mentor will receive a stipend during the mentoring. The Project will also cover all travel costs related to training and the face-to-face meetings.

Deadline for application: May 12, 2013

To fill in your application form, you will need to have the followings in electronic documents.
  • Résumé in English (please specify your English level in speaking, listening and writing)
  • Include your Email address and phone number
  • Motivation letter explaining why you want to become a mentor, and why you will be a good mentor (In English)
  • 3 samples of your science journalistic production (in the language of your language group among Vietnamese, Indonesian and English)
  • 200-300 word article explaining the current status of scientific research in your country (Preferably in English)
  • Strong recommendations from leading science journalists, a media organization, or trainers in science journalism
  • Scanned first page of your passport showing your full name, date of birth, expiration date of the passport (required for your trip in June)

Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.
For questions, please contact Yoon Kim, Project Manager, ykim@wfsj.org

*Important: if you apply for a mentor’s position, and you are not selected, you cannot apply for mentees’ position.



Apply to become a Mentor in
SjCOOP Asia