WCSJ 09 interviews
A little feedback on the World Conference of Science Journalists
After a few months of deplorable inactivity on this site*, here are some notes on the sixth World Conference of Science Journalists, which happened at the end of June this year.

All the people, sessions, events, and controversies at the conference are much better covered by the dedicated people at the WCSJ news site than I can do so here. But before rushing off to those sites, take a look at some of these nuggets from interviews we conducted with some of the many journalists (mainly from developing countries) who attended the conference on the scholarships programme.

Names are suppressed but the countries of the interviewees are not....

"I know so many people now. I have so many great contacts, and that is what is important to me as a journalist” - Cameroon

"[Saleemul] Huq is known worldwide, and he will very useful in the future to answer my questions about climate change...this will improve the quality my articles” – Algeria

"Once researchers interact with science journalists, [we have] a new era in science journalism" - Rwanda

"I am going to use these skills and impart them to others. I have a network of five radio stations [in Tanzania] that immediately I will impart knowledge to…it is really needed [in Tanzania]." – Tanzania

“I want to organise and campaign to make science journalism real and accurate in the Ukraine" – Ukraine

"WCSJ was essentially a well-timed kick up the backside for me. I have returned home determined to be more proactive in my day-to-day work. From now on, I will be putting more effort into seeking out good science stories and selling them." -- UK

The conference "has really helped to broaden my view of science journalism, and [has given me] a whole lot of new perspectives on how to tell my tale, how to reach an audience with science." -- Netherlands

The conference provided "better strategies to survive in hard economic circumstances, gave an idea of new trends in science, and [helped me to] find more accuracy and unbiased attitudes in my stories. A memorable place [in which to] learn." - Pakistan

"Loads of concrete information provided about how to pitch to specific publications: what to pitch, what not to pitch, who to pitch to, what to expect in the editing process, rates of pay, etc.... The ultimate bluffers' guide. Have returned home determined to be more proactive about pitching and widening my client base. I expect to be sending pitches to several of the publications featured at this breakfast during the next 3-12 months and getting at least some of them accepted. I particularly like the idea of being paid by [major UK magazine on science] to travel around the globe, and then return home to write-up a mega-feature. All sounds terribly glam (I'm sure the reality isn't quite as cushy but I won't know until I give it a go....)" - UK

"For me, the green energy workshop was very important. I talked to Giovanni de Santi, director of European Commission's Institute of Energy, and he gave me more detailed information about EU plans on renewable energy. Ethanol is big business in Brazil, so this is an important issue for my readers" - Brazil

*Disclaimer: the main reason for the inactivity on this site recently is that I worked for the conference. This blog is not an official outlet of the conference, and the contents of this post and this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the organisers of the World Conference of Science Journalists, the World Federation of Science Journalists, or the Association of British Science Writers
[read more]