New training resources for journalists launched by SciDev.net

SciDev.Net has launched a new training and networking resource to improve the reporting and communication of science in Africa.

Script is a two-year pilot project funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung that provides training and networking opportunities for both experienced and would-be journalists and scientists.

For professionals already working in their field training is available as two free online courses – ‘Science Communication for Journalists’ and ‘Media Skills for Scientists’. Both courses are split into bite-sized modules and can be taken at the student’s own pace. The course content has been devised and written by Dr. Charles Wendo, SciDev.Net’s Training Coordinator based in Nairobi, who has more than 20 years experience in health and science journalism, and covers topics such as ‘How to simplify statistics’, ‘Using online databases to find newsworthy research’ and ‘How to find a story from a scientific conference’.

Also available free of charge are more than 50 ‘Practical Guides’ – short ‘at-a-glance’ factsheets that give practical advice on a range of themes such as ‘How to pitch to a science editor’ and ‘How to report scientific findings’.

For the journalists of tomorrow, Script will embed learning how to report on science into the course curriculums at some of the region’s leading universities, and will also facilitate networking events for the undergraduates taking these courses.

“This is a really exciting project to be involved in,” commented Charles Wendo. “The effective communication of science is essential if our communities and governments are to be able to make sound, evidence-based decisions. Script has ambitious plans to transform the way science is reported in Africa, and we hope to secure further funding to facilitate the project’s expansion in the years ahead.”

FIND OUT MORE

To find out more about Script and to access the free training materials visit www.scidev.net/training. A dedicated Script Facebook group for journalists and scientists can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/scriptnetworking.