Fact Sheet on the Zika Virus available on WHO’s website

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has put a detailed fact sheet on the Zika virus on their website with key information on the infectious disease that is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The fact sheet is available in English and WHO’s five other official languages.

Some key facts on the Zika Viras

  • Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
  • People with Zika virus disease usually have a mild fever, skin rash (exanthema) and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
  • The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
  • The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

The fact sheet gives a detailed explanation on the signs and symptoms, the transmission, diagnosis, prevention and the treatment.READ MORE

Planet 9 press announcement. Only for the select and chosen few!

Dear Curtis Brainard,
President of the WFSJ

I am writing this open letter to you and fellow science journalists to raise a concern I had about the press announcement of the possible Planet 9 on Wednesday 20 January.

The first time that the vast majority of science journalists knew about the story was when details of the research were published at Noon EST in Astronomy Journal published by the Institute of Physics.READ MORE

Mexican Network of Science Journalists (RedMPC) Creates Association

The City of Mexico City signed a formal agreement on January 12th for the official creation of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists (RedMPC), a civil association and the first of its kind in the country.

RedMPC is created by 29 founding members, all of whom are journalists or communicators and students sharing an interest in strengthening and promoting high-quality science journalism. READ MORE

African Journalists Trained on Reporting Public Health Emergencies

Trainings on reporting public health emergencies are hard to come by – at least in sub-Saharan Africa. The recent Ebola crisis in West Africa revealed many lessons – especially during the initial stages – on how not to report and handle public emergencies.

When it comes to reporting this delicate area, journalists in many parts of the continent are often left to their own approaches with no reference point. When it comes to public health emergencies little nuances in the use of language can be a matter of life and death to large populations.READ MORE

Ebola: A ‘Challenging’ News Beat

The first time I walked for six hours to cover a news story was in August 2015 when Ebola had struck another part of my country. This time, eleven persons had died of the virus in a very remote village in Rivercess County – Eastern Liberia.

Covering this scoop was quite challenging: the bike ride, a mechanical breakdown, and then the long frightening nightly walk through the forest to a town cut-off from civilization, and then finally the trek back to base the next day.READ MORE

Carnival Science: 25 Years of Science Popularization in Latin America

25 years of science popularization in Latin America is the title of a new book, published by the network of Latin American science popularizers RedPOP, on behalf of the 25th anniversary of the organization.

The book highlights a range of important topics on the continent, interactive science museums, the challenges of science journalism, political instruments to develop a scientific culture, and most interestingly: Brazil’s carnival science.READ MORE

Now open! Registration for Newsroom Access at AAAS Annual Meeting

The 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting will take place in Washington DC, February 11-15, 2016. Registration is now open for reporters and science communicators for newsroom access. News briefings start Thursday, February 11.

AAAS will feature more than 150 lectures, seminars, and symposia on emerging areas of research and topics at the intersection of science and society. 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