World Federation of Science Journalists

Become a Mentee




You want to improve your science reporting skills as a journalist?
Join SjCOOP Asia (Science journalism COOPeration in Asia) as mentees!

The World Federation of Science Journalists is looking for journalists from Asia who want to improve journalistic skills at covering disasters, health, climate change, environment, agriculture, energy and other science and technology issues.

Science journalism COOPeration Asia (SjCOOP Asia) is a mentoring project in science journalism in Asia. From July 2013 to December 2014, for 18 months, journalists trained in SjCOOP will benefit from one-on-one mentoring with a science journalist.

Training will be offered in Bahasa Indonesian, Vietnamese and English in three groups (1) Bahasa Indonesian-speaking Group, (2) Vietnamese- speaking Group (3) English-speaking Group. Each group will have 8 mentees (trainees) and 2 mentors (trainers). Participating journalists (called mentees) will benefit from a mentor’s coaching and professional advice in science reporting. Every six months, mentees will participate in a five-day intensive face-to-face meeting. Face-to-face meetings will be a precious opportunity for the participants to join international network of science journalists. Travel expenses will be covered by the World Federation of Science Journalists.

The mentoring will start in July 2013, and the selected mentees will be invited to their 1st face-to-face meeting in September 2013.

Benefits for Participating Journalists (mentees)

  • Improved professional skills in science journalism recognized by the World Federation of Science Journalists
  • International network and contacts with science journalists
  • Opportunities to share experience with science journalists around the world
  • Freelancing opportunities for international publications
  • Awards, travel, and internship opportunities

Activities

Mentees will have to commit to the following activities:
  1. 18-month of online mentoring at a distance:
    • Study the 10 lessons of the online science journalism course
    • Work on at least two science-related stories per month before publication or broadcasting (Topic and angle selection, research plan, writing, editing, pitching to editors etc.) under the coaching of the mentor.
  2. During the first year:
    • One five-day face-to-face meeting of all groups in Vietnam in September 2013(Time and location to be determined)
    • One five-day face-to-face meeting in each country by group: Vietnam, Indonesia, around March 2014(Time and location to be determined)
  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)

Criteria for Participating Journalists (mentees)

Essential qualifications and requirements
  • Minimum three years of experience as a journalist;
  • Currently working as journalist or freelance for print, online, or broadcast media outlets;
  • Strong desire to improve skills at reporting science and technology issues
  • Commitment to follow the project’s requirements (online course, customized mentoring, trans-boundary stories, face-to-face meetings);
  • Commitment to work on at least two draft articles per month with the mentor before publication or broadcasting;
  • Willingness to share his or her production with a mentor and accept comments;
  • Willingness to work closely with a team of journalists to cover different scientific issues;
  • Work as a journalist in one of the following languages: Bahasa Indonesian, Vietnamese, English
  • IF you apply for the English-speaking Group, proficiency in writing, speaking and listening in English is required.
    Those who apply for the English-speaking group will be required to do a short English-writing test during the selection process.
Other considerations:
  • Journalists working in environment, health, climate change, agriculture and science will be given preference.
  • Print, Web and Radio journalists will be given priority.
  • Some TV journalists might be accepted, particularly those who demonstrate the capability of exchanging scripts or videos with their mentors or write for print or websites.
  • Candidates for the Vietnamese and Indonesian-speaking groups will not be required to work in English; they will be mentored in their working language, but we will seek a commitment from the candidates to learn English, which is essential for science journalism.

To apply for mentees:

Deadline for application: Thursday June 6, 2013

To fill out your application form, you will need to have the followings in electronic documents.
 
(1) In English:
  • Your résumé
  • Letter from your editor or your media organization supporting your participation in the program including face-to-face meetings
(2) In your working language (Vietnamese or Bahasa Indonesian, or English):
  • One page text explaining why you should be selected for mentoring: how it will improve your skills, what you will do with the new skills, why you are a good investment for the time of a mentor and the SjCOOP resources, career plans, and why it is important for you;
  • 2 scanned articles, radio or TV tapes, or scripts on science-related topics
  • Recommendation letter from your editor or the organization where you published (recommendation must include the editor email address and phone number)
(3) Scanned first page of your valid passport showing your name, photo and date of birth.
(This first page is necessary to prepare for your face-to-face meeting participation.)

Selection process
  1. The selection process will consist of (1) application form review (2) 200-word writing on a science-related topic in the candidate’s working language (3) interview
  2. Upon the application form review, short-listed candidates will be contacted to self-study on the lesson 1 and lesson 2 of the online course in Science journalism available in Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesian and English. These candidates will then be asked to write a 200-word article in their working language on a science-related topic. This article will need to reflect the lessons learned from the online course. At the time of the interview, candidates will be asked to explain how they reflected their lessons learned in the 200-word article.

Short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.
For questions, please contact Yoon Kim, Project Manager, ykim@wfsj.org
For more information about SjCOOP Asia: www.wfsj.org/sjcoop-asia/


Apply to become a Mentee in
SjCOOP Asia