Newsletter No 23 28 March 2006
New Network to Support Science Journalists in the Middle East and Africa

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) has announced a project to improve science reporting in the Middle East and Africa regions.

The 3-year project aims to create a network of peer-to-peer relationships that will provide journalists with opportunities to improve their skills in communicating complex scientific information to the general public. It will also support new associations of science journalists.

The WFSJ said they will select 60 aspiring science journalists – 20 each from the Middle East and Anglophone and Francophone Africa – to participate. These will enjoy peer-to-peer mentoring from experienced science journalists from the mentioned regions and other countries.

Peer-to-peer training will consist in overseeing material produced by participants within their professional activity. It will be conducted through emails, correspondence and phone conversations.

Two face-to-face meetings are expected to take part between mentors and selected journalists in 2007 and 2008. At the end of the program, participants will receive a certificate.

The WFSJ will facilitate opportunities for the participating journalists to attend scientific meetings, participate in exchange programs and access resources, scholarships and other training opportunities.

The network will be funded by the contributions of WFSJ members. The Canadian International Development Research Centre is providing initial funding of CA$800,000 for the project (about USD 700,000)

For further information on how to participate as a mentor or a mentored, please contact