A free self-paced online course has been launched introducing journalists to credible COVID-19 news sources and empowering them to spot the news and report to their audiences.
The ‘Reporting the science of COVID-19’ course – developed by SciDev.Net’s Script training programme and funded by Sida – is led by instructor, scientist and journalist Dr Charles Wendo. It is aimed at journalists who report on the coronavirus but have little or no experience in science journalism.
Consisting of three modules – each taking no more than an hour to complete – the course will provide the participant with a substantial amount of learning within a short time and at their convenience.
Module 1 looks at ‘Emerging respiratory viruses: why COVID-19 might not be the last’, Module 2 considers ‘sources of COVID-19 research information’ and Module 3 examines ‘Packaging the COVID-19 science story’.
Before starting the first module, journalists are encouraged to read the practical guide ‘How to report the science of COVID-19’ which gives guidance on writing about the people affected while not neglecting the science, using fact-checking tools to help verify information and not letting ‘scientific dissidents’ lead the journalist to false balance.
Dr Wendo said, “Many journalists find themselves reporting on COVID-19 without much knowledge of the basics, where to find credible information and how to package a great story. This course makes their work easier by explaining the science of COVID-19, pointing them to credible sources of information and showing them how to write a great science story.”
There is no time limit on completing the course and access to materials – across any online devices – is available for as long as the journalist likes.
Photo: (Credit: iStock).
Find out more about the free ‘Reporting the science of COVID-19’ course and sign-up for it here.
Script is a free training and networking resource for journalists, scientists and anyone who wants to communicate science in an engaging and accurate way.
By connecting reporters and researchers, and giving both groups the skills to understand and communicate with each other, Script aims to increase the quantity and quality of science-related stories in the news. We believe this is essential to enable informed, evidence-based decision-making, by everyone from individuals to policymakers.
SciDev.Net is the world’s leading source of science news focused on low- and middle-income countries. SciDev.Net has contributors in over 80 countries around the world and publishes in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
Sida is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. Through cooperation with civil society, multilateral organisations, public agencies and the private sector they work for sustainable development and help create conditions for people living in poverty and oppression to improve their living conditions.