The board of the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) selected new leadership on Friday, appointing science journalist Harry Surjadi for the next two years to replace outgoing President Milica Momcilovic. 

Harry has been working as a journalist for more than 25 years and specialises in environment reporting in his native Indonesia. Harry completed a Knight International Journalist Fellowship in 2008 and 2012, and developed a mobile phone citizen journalism model for grass-roots community members to empower them in defending their rights to forests and lands in West Kalimantan. In 2013, he received the Communication for Social Change Award from the Centre for Communication and Social Change, University of Queensland, for his work in West Kalimantan. 

In photo Harry gives training on environmental journalism for students of the University of Indonesia near the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park, in November 2023. The training was supported by the Pulitzer Center and organized by the Research Center Climate Change University of Indonesia (RCCC UI).

“The global COVID-19 outbreak proved that science journalists were vital. The Federation played an important role in helping non-science journalists, who suddenly had to report the science behind the pandemic. It will continue helping all journalists, especially in the global South, through providing training and mentoring,” said Harry. 

He will be supported by Colombia’s Ximena Serrano Gil as Vice-President, Canada’s Lesley Evans Ogden as Treasurer, and Ben Deighton from the UK as Secretary. 

Ximena is a science journalist and president of the Colombian Association of Science Journalism (ACPC), from where she led the positioning and strengthening of science journalism in her country and in Latin America, forming the Latin American Network of Journalism and Science Communication. Ximena was the Executive Director of the 12th World Conference of Science Journalists 2023, in Medellin, Colombia.

“Science journalism in the global south is expanding, from the WFSJ we will continue to bet on its strengthening, the support of new partnerships and the creation of collaborative networks and ongoing training of journalists. We recognize the challenges that await us and the responsibility that this entails, so we will work for a Federation that is interconnected with the global community.” Ximena said. 

Outgoing President Milica Momcilovic, who will remain on the WFSJ board as past president, said: “The Federaton is in the privileged posion to be able to connect reporters and provide professional development around the globe. In past years we worked very hard to ensure support for young reporters who are stepping up and will benefit from our international network. By encouraging new voices from talented science reporting communities we have seen first hand how their work can change the world for the better.”

The WFSJ will hold its next global science conference in December 2025 in Pretoria, South Africa. For more information about the conference visit the website.

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