Tools for journalists

We have collected a number of useful and free to use resources for science journalists, such as information and links to practical documents, resources and tips. A selection of resources from the WFSJ’s old website is listed below. The full overview with all the resources can be found here

TELLING SCIENCE STORIES WITH CODE & DATA

Computation and data analysis are fundamental tools in almost all the sciences today. The same tools can also help journalists and other communicators present science stories to the wider public. On April 18 – 19, 2015, New England Science Writers (NESW) hosted a workshop where some two dozen science writers got acquainted with two programming languages (Python and JavaScript) and made a start on applying these tools to their own story ideas.

The Storytelling in Code & Data website serves as a showcase for the projects undertaken by the workshop participants and is a valuable source to find ebooks, software, articles, and other online resources that might be helpful for science writers who want to work with code and data. Also included are some examples of data-journalism stories in the sciences, and illustrations or interactive web apps made with various coding tools. Except as noted, all of these materials are freely available on the web.

ONLINE PRIVACY FOR JOURNALISTS

It is possible for journalists to make it difficult for anyone to try and intercept their emails, text messages or phone calls. Simple measures can make the lives of those who want to uncover sources and information being revealed to you, much harder.

What precisely needs to be done to ensure that a journalist’s sources and date are secure and well? In Online Privacy for Journalists, the former Haaretz Deputy Editor, Michael Dagan, will teach you tips and tricks to project your sources and valuable information. Read the publication here.

NEW CHALLENGES AND NEW METHODS FOR OUTBREAK COMMUNICATION SUMMARY (via TELL ME)

This report summarizes the different parts that constitute the work package 2, whose aim is to identify new challenges and new methods for outbreak communication by emphasizing the multivariate nature of the network in which different stakeholders operate and the ever growing diversity of channels to communicate the information. Go to the summary report here.

A NEW MODEL FOR RISK COMMUNICATION IN HEALTH (via TELL ME)

A new framework model for risk communication in case of a pandemic has been developed by TELL ME experts from the School of Public Health at the University of Haifa.

While pandemic outbreaks in the last decade showed that public health authorities use the best tools available and the newest technologies to contain outbreaks from a medical point of view, the aspect of outbreak communication does not always reflect the new communication reality.

The public’s non-compliance with the vaccination campaign and a crisis of trust between the public and international organizations and governments are the consequence of a deficit of theoretical and applied knowledge in the area of risk communication and public inclusion through social media.

This new graphical representation shows that the public sphere, with all its segmentation, should be at the centre of the outbreak communication: the public, as all stakeholders as well, must be partners, not a target to aim at. Go to the new framework model here

PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR HEALTH RISK COMMUNICATION (via TELL ME)

The Practical Guide for Health Risk Communication offers practical recommendations and tools to support the development of evidence-based messages, tailored for different sub-populations and target groups across various cultural contexts with the aim to further improve risk communication and the management of national or international public health threats at different phases of a major infectious disease outbreak. 

The in total four (4) guidance documents are a main outcome of the TELL ME project. Access the guides here.

The collection is geared towards health care professionals, public health officials, decision-makers in the fields of infectious disease management and communication.

The guide is a collaborative effort between BMJ Publishing Group, CEDARthree, Istituto Superiore di Sanità and Zadig Srl.

MANUAL FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM (in Arabic)

This manual for investigative journalism is prepared by a group of specialists from the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism.

The Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, is an independent, non-profit, Amman-based, regional media support network that seeks to support independent quality professional journalism, through funding in-depth journalism projects, and offering media coaching.

The manual helps, journalists and editors, who are passionate about telling stories, to investigate these stories, in very simple systematic approaches. It creates a support structure for investigative reporters. Download the manual here.

A GUIDE TO PEER TO PEER MENTORSHOP IN SCIENCE JOURNALISM

Lessons from the SjCOOP project

by Kathryn O’Hara
CTV Chair in Science Broadcast Journalism
Carleton University, Ottawa

Download the full publication here.

SETTING UP YOUR OWN SCIENCE JOURNALIST' ASSOCIATION

By Barbara Drillsma
Science journalist
Former President of EUSJA and member of ABSW.
 
Download the full publication here

ADVANCES IN AFRICAN AND ARAB SCIENCE JOURNALISM: CAPACITY BUILDING AND NEW NEWSROOM STRUCTURES THROUGH DIGITAL PEER-TO-PEER SUPPORT

Journalists who regularly cover science, health, environment and technology in Africa and the Arab world face a number of difficulties: Lack of elementary resources for journalistic research, and newsroom environments that are not always supportive of specialised reporting. Also a need for capacity to cover science is often bemoaned as well as difficulties in interactions between journalists and scientists. The evaluation of the world’s largest support initiative for science journalism in developing countries, the SjCOOP mentoring programme, shows that some of these problems can be mitigated through a variety of support programmes, especially ‘distance mentoring’. The article analyses ways of building capacity and offering general support with the help of ICTs. Organisational structures for specialised reporting in 40 newsrooms are compared. Cases of structural advancement and innovation for science journalism are discussed.
 
Download the full publication here via the Taylor & Francis Online.
The article is not free and costs 40 USD.

ONLINE TRAINING COURSE ON HEALTH COMMUNICATION: THE PULSE

Created by BBC Media Action, The Pulse is a combination of an online training course and resources designed to help you create effective health communication projects. This training course is funded by the UK Department for International Development.

The online training course called the Pulse Toolkit is available here.

You will also find useful downloads for trainers and people developing health communication projects. There are fact sheets on common health issues, templates and forms to help in the research and planning phase, plus training and guidance documents to enable you to teach others about health communication. If you are new to health communication, it is recommended to complete the course above first.

Download Resources and Tools here.

THE CURIOUS JOURNALIST'S GUIDE TO DATA

The Curious Journalist’s Guide to Data is a book about using data in journalism, but it’s not a particularly practical book. Instead, it’s for the curious, for those who wonder about the deep ideas that hold everything together. Some of these ideas are very old, some have emerged in just the last few decades, and many of them have come together to create the particularly twenty-first-century practice of data journalism. The guidebook looks at data a lot more closely than you might be used to. It can be downloaded for free here.

YELLOW FEVER

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a knowledge pack on yellow fever. The pack includes a Q&A (in Arab, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), an infographic on yellow fever vaccine supply in an emergency, an emergency web page (in English and French) as well as useful links on risk communication and community engagement. Download the knowledge pack here.