African journalists have been urged to understand science, scientific processes and to communicate them effectively to their audiences.
A planetary research scientist at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, a national scientific research laboratory in the United Kingdom (UK), Dr. Hugh Mortimer said this in his presentation on earth observation and climate monitoring during a five-day training (10-14 March) on science reporting for African journalists in Harwell, UK.
The workshop, which has attracted 16 journalists from 10 African countries, and funded by the World Federation for Science Journalists (WFSJ), United Kingdom Research and Innovation (Ukri) and the Association for British Science Writers aimed to develop journalists’ skills in science reporting and strengthen a professional network of journalists in Africa.
“Science is a beautiful, ambitious objective that people go through to understand the world. So it is important for journalists to understand and communicate science effectively because they have the ability to change people’s perceptions and inspire the next generation of scientists who will be solving some of today’s challenges such as climate change, water and food security,” said Mortimer.
Christophe Bourillon, the WFSJ executive director said science reporting is important because it is about people.
“The work by scientists affect people and influence policy formulation and change and it is important for journalists to report accurately,” he said.