Storytelling in science journalism
Date Posted : Monday, 27 Aug 2012
By Florence Dallu, Internews in Kenya.
What can the laboratory rat tell us about being human? Not much unless you can interpret the very detailed, specific, and often jargon-laden information in science reports.
For many years science journalists have played the role of making scientific research into a form that non-scientists can understand and appreciate, while still communicating the information accurately. But it has not been without challenges.
"Even as journalists do their best to simplify the information, editors are not interested in science" said Bryan Coll a public information officer at the UNEP during the opening ceremony of the Africa Science Journalism Conference 2012. It is time science journalists thought about repackaging this information so that it can sell, he added.
For this reason science journalists from Africa were in Nakuru for the first ever meeting of its kind. They discussed how to promote science journalism for socio-economic development.
“Scientists have to stop calling journalists at the end of a research project for a press briefing,” said Lilian Chigona, Panos South Africa, “They should involve journalists in the whole process.”
The conference ran for three days and tackled among others how journalists should expose bad science, transforming communities through digital technologies even data journalism.
“This conference is a sign that Africa has realized that we need science and technology to change,” William Odinga, Science Journalism Association.
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