In a world with increasingly democratic dissemination of both trustworthy and unreliable information, and where the authority of experts is being undermined, the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) has taken on the mission to empower journalists and to provide them with the tools and know-how to better access, evaluate, and communicate scientific evidence, sometimes in chaotic and dangerous environments.
Science and journalism are going through turbulent times, and freedom of the press is under threat in many countries. Consequently, our central role now, more than ever, is to develop a portfolio of programmes to educate, engage, and communicate scientific and technological understanding.
Collaboration between science-knowledge brokers
Addressing tomorrow’s major communication challenges requires the collaboration and resources of all science-knowledge brokers, including scientists, educators, community-based stakeholders, civil society, foundations, institutions, and universities. We rely on consistent and effective collaboration to:
- Be the primary conduit to inform citizens.
- Address and confront the issue of fake science.
- Identify and challenge fake news.
- Make sure science is accountable.
- Build and restore trust between science, scientists, and citizens.
- Take a role in public policy decision-making, such as the challenges behind open science and open data.
- Prepare societies to understand how science and technology are going to affect our lives.
- Close the gap in communication between scientists, journalists, and communities.
- Have a substantial impact on the scientific challenges facing our societies, such as climate change, the environment, antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases, and vaccines.
Addressing major challenges and issues
Since 2002 the WFSJ has been a bridge-builder and facilitator, creating and developing connections across different borders and stimulating close collaborations with organizations that share our desire to advance scientific and technological knowledge.
To respond to these major challenges and issues, we need financial means so that we can continue to organize and develop:
- Training workshops focused on building the science-reporting capacity of local and regional journalists. Since 2006 we have trained hundreds of journalists in more than 70 countries.
- Training for trainers courses to train local, non-specialized journalists to establish a network of trainers who can conduct further training and mentoring of journalists in the regions concerned.
- Resources and toolkits for journalists such as the ones we have released on dementia, nuclear safety, infectious diseases, and hepatitis C.
- Mentoring programmes in science journalism such as our recognized SjCOOP programme in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Over 120 mentees have been trained, who in turn are training more journalists.
- E-learning resources such as our MOOC on scientific controversies, interactive games about science journalism, and multilingual online courses on science journalism.
- Competitions such as the Kavli Prize Scholarships for science journalists to attend the Kavli Prize award ceremony in Oslo. In the past, we organized the EcoHealth Forum and Amundsen competitions.
- Conferences and webinars such as the biannual World Conference of Science Journalists and the Kavli Symposium on Science Journalism, as well as webinars on a wide range of topics such as infectious diseases and nuclear safety.
“The mentoring project in science journalism in Southeast Asia allowed me to get published internationally.”
Become an Associate Partner and support science journalism
By expanding our collaboration and seeking new horizons, we can jointly help advance science journalism worldwide and address tomorrow’s communication challenges. The development of associate partnerships will allow us to continue our work as a trusted and established services provider in the area of science journalism.
As an Associate Partner, you will support our work developing evidence-based strategies for engaging the public with science while providing us with much-needed funds for our long-term development, advocacy, and projects. In return for your financial backing, we will acknowledge your contribution on our website, during events, in programmes, and in our newsletter.
We are grateful for your support of science journalism. Financial donations start at US$ 1,000. All donations are directed to specific projects. We are open to discussing other benefits your organization might have in mind in return for a financial contribution.
- Let us discuss how together we can build inspiring and novel collaborations that will respond strategically to the future communication needs of a rapidly changing world.
- If you would like to discuss a partnership in more detail, contact our executive director at cbourillon (at) wfsj.org.
- All financial donations to the WFSJ are eligible for an official donation receipt for income tax purposes in Canada.
“The WFSJ’s training enhanced my news writing skills on science.”
Pham Thuy Huong
Journalist, Viet Nam