How can I cover clinical research if it is too technical for me to write a compelling story? Where can I find neglected tropical disease (NTD) researchers from my country that will respond to my queries? How can I make NTD stories mean something for my readers? How can I explain the science behind NTDs?
These are some of the many questions that reporters from countries affected by neglected diseases have asked our researchers over the years. Vitally important questions that point to the many challenges faced by journalists looking to cover not only NTDs, but public health and science at large.
As we have seen so vividly in the global COVID-19 pandemic, journalists play a crucial role by providing accurate and clear information about public health. They are often the only barrier against fake news and the misinformation that is circulating on-and off-line about health and science.
To help reporters overcome these challenges, DNDi has created a media workshop programme for health and science reporters from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We aim to help reporters better understand neglected diseases and the complex science that is in play to discover, develop, and deliver treatments.
One of our goals is to bring together researchers and reporters from these regions. Researchers rely on reporters to translate the science to a wider audience, while reporters look to researchers as expert sources for their articles. But too often the groups have difficulty understanding one another, especially given the tight deadlines and breaking news of the media world.
Through our workshops we are bringing together the top researchers on neglected diseases with reporters from the same countries, in an interactive and educational environment. Workshops include briefings on demystifying the science behind clinical trials, deep dives into specific diseases by local experts, site visits, and special sessions with seasoned science journalists.
Reporters are invited to submit an application for our media workshops when we announce them, but in the meantime please feel free to ask questions or express interest on firstname.lastname@example.org.
DNDi’s inaugural media workshop was held in Uganda in 2018. A virtual media workshop was organized during the COVID pandemic and DNDi’s second in-person media workshop was held in Bangkok in October 2022. Additional workshops are planned in the coming years. Stay tuned for future calls for applications!
DNDi has partnered with a range of organizations to run its media workshops: The International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM) and Siri Raj Hospital/Mahidol University; the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH); the World Conference of Francophone Science Journalists and the French Embassy in Nairobi. Please reach out to us if you would like to partner!
- Inaugural DNDi training for health & science journalists in Kampala
- Health journalists from Africa receive grants to report on COVID-19
- DNDi Asia media workshop – Science journalism in an age of climate-sensitive diseases
- Reporting on climate change and neglected diseases: DNDi at the World Conference of Francophone Science Journalists
Photo credit: Luke Duggleby