African Conference of Science Journalists 2022

Title: African Conference of Science Journalists 2022

Date of event: May 24 TO 27, 2022

Proposer: Media for Environment, Science, Health andAgriculture (MESHA)

Target Countries: Global

Partnership: MESHA and InfoNile

Background

Science journalism in Africa has, in the recent past, been on a transformational trajectory after decades of stagnation characterized by poor reporting, inadequate coverage, and generally weak scientists- journalists relationships.


The last few years have seen renewed commitment and investment in science journalism by governments (both national and devolved), donors and the private sector. There is an increasing understanding of key drivers and stakeholders of the importance of addressing historical systemic failures wholly that have contributed to the challenges facing science journalism in Africa.


The continued need for transformation is clear and the potential is greater now than ever given the changing technological, budgetary
dynamics, and increasing level of training for science journalists in Africa.


The role of science journalists in development, is increasingly being acknowledged by all stakeholders who now view science journalism as the key to the achievement of Africa’s scientific revolution.
For this reason, The Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA), a professional association of journalists whose membership includes journalists, scientists, and communicators, has been
holding high profile forums, bringing together hundreds of journalists, scientists, communication officers from the region in the last several
years including FOUR African Conference of Science Journalists and THREE Kenya Science Journalists Congress.
The African Conferences have served as eye-openers for the practice of science journalism in the region.

In 2022, it will hold the Fifth African Conference of Science Journalists with the theme ‘Letting Science Live’.

This conference aims to:

1. Share knowledge and ideas on scientific issues in Africa;
2. Enhance networking between scientists, journalists, farmers, and
traders;
3. Explore ways of harmonizing the various policies on health,
environment and agriculture;
4. Promote access to scientific information;
5. Promote use of geodata in science communication;
6. Increase the interest, skills and knowledge of African journalists to
pursue science stories.

Conference Output

1. A daily conference bulletin
2. A conference report
3. Free flow of knowledge between journalists, health workers, policy
makers and scientists
4. A strong network of science journalists, scientists, health workers and
the private sector in Africa
5. A well maintained data bank of information on various current
scientific issues and communication materials

6. Improved government policy on science journalism and support to
science journalists.

Activities

Partners will have an opportunity to organise pre- or post-conference field
trips on health, climate change, WASH, agriculture, technology and environment to capture the interest of all participants.


Break-out skills training workshops will expose participants to techniques, tools, and new innovations in science reporting.

The 2022 ACSJ will seek to address the following areas of concern;

1. Health:
a. The COVID-19 pandemic: Where do we go from here? We will
draw experiences from coverage of COVID-19 to lead discussions
on preventing the next pandemic, including vaccines.
b. Ending HIV: the status and progress by countries across the
world.
c. Neglected tropical diseases-what new interventions are available
for communities?
d. WASH: the intersection between health and sanitation
e. Antimicrobial resistance: the new pandemic.
f. Reproductive health

2. River Nile and its source, Lake Victoria:
a. How much of Lake Victoria's water is available for use by the
riparian communities without hurting the ecosystem? Is it still
fresh?
b. Transboundary use of the lake in the era of the GERD dam:
What is the reality of shared use of the water, according to
science? How can journalists fight nationalistic narratives and
avoid water conflicts?

3. Agriculture:
a. Reporting genome editing in Africa: What journalists should
know.
b. Seed production and trade.
c. Bovine diseases in domestic animals and wildlife
d. Biodiversity and agriculture
e. Flower farming and agriculture

4. Climate Change:
a. Climate change and its impact in Africa: What are the
interventions that journalists need to know about?

 

 

5. Environment:
a. Waste management in Africa.
b. Sustainable mobility

6. Biodiversity

a. Loss of ecosystems, species, habitats
b. Biodiversity protection, conservation
7. Science journalism:
a. Science journalism in the advent of new media: What
opportunities does the new media hold for telling the science
story accurately?
b. How can the media harness the power of citizen journalism to
hold scientists and policy makers accountable?

8. Geojournalism: How best can science writers show the context of their
stories through geotagging and visualizations.

9. Fact checking- with proliferation of disinformation both online and off,
science journalists will be equipped with tools and resources to help
them scale up their fact checking skills in their work.

Venue

Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya, after Nairobi and Mombasa, and the second largest city, after Kampala in the Lake Victoria Basin. It is the headquarters of the Lake Region Economic Bloc, a conglomeration of 14
counties in Western Kenya. In 2006, the UN Habitat designated Kisumu city as the first “Millennium City” in the world. It is the largest and principal city of Western Kenya, and the most important inland port in the Lake Victoria circuit.

Participants

Over 100 international and local science journalists, communication
professionals, scientists and policy makers.

Fifth African Conference of Science Journalists - Virtual and In-person Conference

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