Journalists who regularly cover science, health, environment and technology in Africa and the Arab world face a number of difficulties: Lack of elementary resources for journalistic research, and newsroom environments that are not always supportive of specialised reporting. Also a need for capacity to cover science is often bemoaned as well as difficulties in interactions between journalists and scientists. The evaluation of the world's largest support initiative for science journalism in developing countries, the SjCOOP mentoring programme, shows that some of these problems can be mitigated through a variety of support programmes, especially ‘distance mentoring’. The article analyses ways of building capacity and offering general support with the help of ICTs. Organisational structures for specialised reporting in 40 newsrooms are compared. Cases of structural advancement and innovation for science journalism are discussed.
Lublinski, J.; Reichert, I.; Denis, A.; Fleury, J.M.; Labassi, O.; Spurk, C. Advances in African and Arab science journalism: Capacity building and new newsroom structures through digital peer-to-peer support. Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies (2014) 35 (2) 4-22. [DOI: 10.1080/02560054.2014.919945]