Ebola: Improving Science-Based Communication & Local Journalism 

CORRESPONDANCE: WFSJ responds to letter originally published in the Lancet (Aug 29, p 851)

The unprecedented epidemic of Ebola in west Africa has exposed not only response failures of governments, international institutions, and public health agencies, but also the ineffectiveness of using disconnected top down health messages during public health emergencies. Gilles Guerrier and colleagues’ letter (Aug 29, p 851) (1) on the need to strengthen scientific journalism in Africa is spot on.READ MORE

Science Journalism, Changing Tools, Timeless Values.

In a time of dramatic evolution, amazing discovery and occasional controversy, science journalists are the vital conduit between researchers, policymakers and the public. Award-winning science communicator and former WFSJ board member, Pallava Bagla, reflects in this article on the challenges of his profession. READ MORE

Lessons Learned From the Post-WCSJ2015 Fukushima Visit

The Nepalese journalist Chhatra Karki went on a visit to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant as part of a post-WCSJ2015 tour to Japan organized by the Japanese Association of Science and Technology Journalists (JASTJ). Mr. Karki experienced first-hand the devastating effects of the earthquake in Nepal. Visiting the Fukushima nuclear facilities and witnessing the effects of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami on the region and the way the local government dealt with the aftermath provided Mr. Karki with an opportunity to learn from the Japanese experience and to help his own country with its own post-disaster management.    READ MORE

Now Out: the October edition of SAYANSI magazine (by MESHA)

The Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) in Nairobi, Kenya just launched the fourth issue of their SAYANSI magazine.

MESHA is an organization that provides support to science journalists covering health, development, technology, agriculture and the environment. It offers science communication training workshops, consultancies and encourage networking through meetings and conferences among journalists, scientists and other stakeholders in Kenya.READ MORE

The Kenya Science Journalists Congress 2015

The Kenya Science Journalists Congress is part of an effort to push for quality science journalism in Africa.

Nearly 100 international and local science journalists, communication professionals, scientists and policy makers will meet on November 23rd and 24th in Nairobi, Kenya to network, share ideas on the future of science journalism, and disseminate the latest in research and development.

There will be pre-congress field trips on health, agriculture, technology and environment to capture the interest of all participants.

More information on the Kenya Science Journalists Congress will soon be available on the MESHA website.

Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship. Deadline Nov. 29!

Over a billion people in the world lack access to modern energy services such as electricity to power their communities’ x-ray machines or clean-burning cook stoves to prepare their families’ meals. An estimated two times that number lack reliable access. While looking differently throughout the world, energy poverty has significant impacts on health, access to basic services and economic opportunity everywhere.READ MORE

EU Commission sets up Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM)

The European Commission has set up the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). The aim of the seven-member advisory panel is to support the Commission with high quality, timely and independent scientific advice for its policy-making activities. This will contribute to the quality of EU legislation, in line with the Better Regulation agenda.READ MORE

Training Workshop on Local Journalism in Emergency and Post-Outbreak Periods launched in Sierra Leone

On November the 3rd the WFSJ launched a 5-day training workshop in Sierra Leone, one of the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic. The workshop focuses on ‘Improving Science-based Communication & Local Journalism in Emergency and Post-Outbreak Periods’. The course material was put together at a Training of Trainers workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (12-16 September).

The overall goal of the training program is to help local non-specialized journalists better understand the nature, context and response actions in public health emergencies, disease outbreaks, and potential pandemics. It will provide them with a health and science reporting toolbox tailored to reporting in future outbreak situations. Further workshops will be organized in the next few weeks in Guinea and Liberia.

This blog post was written by Ibrahima Samura, a Sierra Leonean web-journalist attending the workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone. READ MORE