REASONS WHY I AM APPLYING
There are several reasons or considerations why I am applying for WFSJ’s board member.
- I’ve been reporting science (focusing on environmental sciences and issues) for more than 20 years. In the last 10 years, I was also helping young journalists to report science stories. One of them, I helped SjCOOP Asia, the WFSJ program on science journalism mentoring in Asia.
- I could say – based on my 20 years experiences as science journalist – media in Asia or more specific in South East Asia are not interested in science reporting. They are more interested in politics and economic reporting. Only the big media has science section or science program.
- Asia is the biggest continent in the world, in term of area and population. Population in Asia is around 4,436 billion in 2016 and the world population is around 7 billion. More than half of the world’s population live in Asia alone. Asians account for the largest media consumers.
- There are 50 independent countries in Asia (most of them are developing countries). The three largest countries are in Asia: China, India, and Indonesia. But, there are only eight science journalist organizations in Asia. Asia is the center stage of media world as reported by FAO.
- The role of a science journalist is needed in Asia to increase science literacy of the half world population, to help the government of countries in Asia to consider research before issuing policies, to advance.
The WFSJ should bring back science journalism to Asia after the First World Conference of Science Journalists in Japan. If I were selected as WFSJ Board member, I would focus on helping WFSJ to bring again science journalism to Asia:
- Helping science journalists in ASEAN member states to establish science journalist organizations. There are currently only two science journalist organizations member of WFSJ in South East Asia: Philippine and Indonesia. And one group of science journalists is under the national journalist association in Vietnam. In Thailand, there is Thai Society of Environmental Journalists that not WFSJ member.
- With the organizations of science journalists in ASEAN, I would like to organize the Forum of Science Journalists in ASEAN.
- Then to organize the Forum of Science Journalists in Asia.
- If Africa and Arab have an association of science journalists, Asia supposedly has one association of science journalists also. With the help of WFSJ, science journalist organizations in Asia could establish the Asia Association of Science Journalists. The members are science journalist organizations in every country in Asia.
Thank you for considering my application and thank you to Dominique Forget who has encouraged me to apply for WFSJ’s board member.
Harry Surjadi – Chair of the Society of Indonesian Science Journalists
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Letter of reference – SISJ
Letter of reference – James Fahn
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