Science Journalism - Diran Onifade - September 2012

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Presentation by Diran Onifade, Editor in Chief, AfricaSTI
Delivered at the B4FA Media Dialogue Workshop, Ibadan, Nigeria - September 2012
www.b4fa.org

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Science Journalism - Diran Onifade - September 2012

  1. 1. Diran Onifade Science and Agriculture Journalism
  2. 2. Breakthrough? • 1987 Zaire MM1 • 1990 Kenya Kemron • 1997 S/Africa Viroden
  3. 3. Breakthroughs? Nigeria • Chief Ojefu Odeh, Herbalist • Dr Felix Amanya, Alternative Therapist • Dr Jacob Abdullahi, Medical lab Technologist • Dr Edmund Okworri, Medical Doctor • Jeremiah Abalaka
  4. 4. Abalaka • Born 4thDecember 1948 • 1972 medical graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Northern Nigeria • Obtained a post-graduate certificate in immunology from UCH, Ibadan
  5. 5. Who failed the public? • Government? • Quacks? • Scientist?
  6. 6. Who failed the public? The (unscientific)Media
  7. 7. Science and journalism • The scientific method • Scientific Consensus • Good Research Practice • Know the issues
  8. 8. WHO WANTS WHAT ? Question Type Outcome • Interrogation Confession • Examination Testing Knowledge • Survey Research • Routine Information • Interview Seeking news
  9. 9. Beyond the definition • Reporter interview for: 1.Information (facts and opinions) 2.Sound bites
  10. 10. Interviewing a scientist • Scientists’ reactions to journalists • How to get the best from scientists • Building a relationship • How do you write the story for your reader to understand? • Translating science-speak without dumbing down
  11. 11. Preparing for Interviews Research The subject The context The interviewee Test your tools
  12. 12. The Interview Assume the audience’s place. The old reliable 5 Ws & H. Questions need to be short and clear. Ask one question at a time. No double barrelled questions. Be particular. No wide questions. No cliché questions. Avoid deferential phrases. Don’t apologise for seeking answers. Construct questions skilfully in a way they don’t produce ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Follow up for clarity or for fallouts, genuine new angles and fresh developments emerging from answer. Probe the science. Report the science.
  13. 13. Why science? Why agric? • Why does science appeal? • Why should science and agric appeal to readers?
  14. 14. How to find a story • Sources of information and inspiration • Is it a story? • What is the story – is it science, economics, society, politics?
  15. 15. Sources of information • Where to get your facts and background from – Scientists – Organisations – NGOs – Government – Journals & other publications
  16. 16. Who do you trust? • Not all sources are equally valid • Science and “balance” • Research vs opinion • Published work • Where and who by? • Peer review
  17. 17. Interviewing a lobbyist • Relationships with lobbyists • How to get the truth from a lobbyist • Investigative interviewing techniques
  18. 18. How do scientists react to the media? • What do scientists think of us • What can you do about that • Building the relationship
  19. 19. How do journalists react to scientists? • How do you typically react to scientists • What can you do about that • What can scientists do • How can you help them achieve this
  20. 20. Selling it to your editor/producer • Why should this be published? • Selling the story to your editor • Freelance Oportunities Scidev.net ScienceAfric Africasti.com Research Africa
  21. 21. Thank you

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