Project #1Training Journalists: Infectious diseases training workshops

Improving science-based journalism in emergency and post-outbreak periods. The goal of this communications and training program for local, non-specialized African journalists is to strengthen mass media campaigns and counteract the misinformation on Ebola (EVD) and other infectious diseases transmission and control.

Phase 1

Workshops in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The workshops will offer local journalists a health and science reporting toolbox tailored to reporting in outbreak situations.

Phase 2

1. Regional workshops in Eastern and Central Africa seeking to raise journalists’ awareness about health issues and infectious diseases.2. Virtual Health Media Centre. A transborder website and data portal for experience sharing among journalists. Its goal is to aid effective communication of infectious diseases and other priority health issues in Africa. The website will act as a clearing house and link journalists to scientists, host credible and accessible science information, data, contacts and provide some key tools to collect, analyse and visualise data.

Current Partners: International Development Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, United States Department of State, Association Mondiale des Radiodiffuseurs Communautaires, Fondation Hirondelle, and the WFSJ member associations.

Project #2Training Journalists: Ebola and Pandemic Influenza training workshops

A communications and training-for-trainers program for mainstream journalists that seeks to enhance the use of credible science and health information, both during a crisis and in a post-crisis period.

Three short-term workshops in Kenya, Egypt and the Ivory Coast, will offer journalists a training of trainers module and a basic health and science “101” reporting toolbox tailored to reporting Ebola and influenza pandemics.

An online training course in English, French and Arabic will be developed and supplemented by a trainers handbook.

This training programme will:

--Strengthen the journalist community by fostering exchanges of expertise among countries and regions --Increase accessibility and uptake of health knowledge and evidence --Provide practical informational tools and mentoring to journalists --Improve monitoring of emerging health issues in the different regions --Link local journalists to the wider international science-health journalism community.

Current Partners: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the WFSJ member associations

Support requested for projects #1 and #2

--Assistance with the organization of workshops by providing technical and logistical support --Assistance with the setting-up of the basic toolkit that is part of the virtual health media center --Through providing researchers and scientists to participate in the workshops --Through communicating on the project --By disseminating the data on infectious diseases --Assistance with the vaccine safety communication activities at country level to promote awareness of vaccine risks and benefits, understand perceptions of risk, and prepare for managing any adverse events and concerns about vaccine safety promptly.

Project #3Viral Hepatitis Educational Package

A global initiative to educate the media on hepatitis C virus (HCV). The goal of this campaign will be to provide journalists around the world with the appropriate tools, data sets and education to accurately cover the HCV story.

The global education plan will help journalists explore: --The global disease burden of HCV --The health risks of HCV and the need for screening --The challenges associated with HCV treatment and prevention --The rapidly evolving HCV treatment landscape --Global HCV public health policy

The educational materials:

1. A hepatitis C reporting toolkit that will include a simplification of facts about HCV (epidemiology, strains, treatments, vaccines, etc...), regional fact sheets, how to decipher how data is/should be obtained – how to judge credible information, ethical issues, regional and global health policy, understanding big pharma, how to ask the tough questions. The main focus will be to break down the reporting needs of journalists by world region and address those needs. The full educational package will be released on World Hepatitis day (July 28) and will include a live webinar.

2. An “ask the experts” database of authorities on different aspects of HCV (public health policy-, science-, and patient-oriented).

--We will hold HCV workshops for journalists in several parts of the world. --Will be part of a Virtual Health Media Center. At the root of the center’s inception is feedbackobtained from journalists in regions of the world where information isn’t easily accessible, such as regions in Africa and the Middle-East.

Current partners: The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA)

Support requested for this project

--Assistance with the setting-up of the toolkit that is part of the virtual media center --Through providing researchers and scientists to participate in the workshops --Disseminating the data on Viral Hepatitis and through communicating on the project --By disseminating the data on Hepatitis C

Other projects --The Kavli Symposium: Participate in the 3rd Kavli Symposium (KS) in Washington DC (February 12– 15, 2016), which will take place right after the AAAS conference. The KS is a showcase event on science journalism. The sessions are attended by high end journalists from the BBC, WSJ, NYT, etc.

The 3rd KS will focus on Global Science Engagement: an in-depth look at the dynamics behind a short selection of major international science news stories. The goal is to identify pragmatic steps journalists can take to better monitor and evaluate sources of major information (particularly official sources), more effectively evaluate and manage complex data from multiple sources, critique how the news was covered and disseminated, and identify opportunities and mechanisms for collaboration during coverage of a competitive, international story.

More info on the 2015 Kavli Symposium can be found here.

Contact detailsEric Lauwers | Project Manager Phone +1 514 508 2777 Email [email protected]