NCRST conducts a workshop for Journalists on Science Reporting
30 Sep 2014
The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) in partnership with Twafiika Consultants conducted a two day training workshop for journalists on science reporting.
The aim of the workshop was to equip journalists with tools to best explain science clearly through print, radio, TV and the internet; show how to identify key messages and the delivery thereof across the various disciplines; stimulate discussions to allow journalists to think critically about scientific issues and controversies; provide ways to judge the value of competing arguments; and to teach journalists to improve their accessibility to international ideas and practices in science communication.
Journalists representing various print and broadcast media houses discussed issues relating to science reporting such as convergence, conflict and conformity: truth, spin and credibility in science news. As well as access to online services and notes to improve science reporting, and were awarded an accredited certificate from the African Institute for the Advancement of Journalism.
“Science journalists working in developing countries face a number of challenges. They often have to deal with multiple languages, face the difficult task of translating complex scientific terms into everyday understanding. And if they get to report on science at all, it is usually driven by health issues or the latest environmental crisis. A genuine obstacle to addressing these issues is the absence of training in how to report on science. The NCRST thus felt the need to train and support science journalists, and we hope this will be the first step in doing so”, said Ms Elzita Beukes Head: Corporate Communication and Marketing at the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology.
The training workshop was facilitated by acclaimed newspaper journalist and popular science writer, publishing, Prof Graeme Addison. Prof Addison writes freelance articles and books on a range of science and technology topics including medicine, health & fitness, and planetary science. Currently he is also involved in several projects to do with newspaper launches in Africa, research into digital media in Africa, and workshops on narrative journalism.