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News Update

SciDev.Net recognizes Script graduates in journalism awards

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  • The awards recognise the work of SciDev.Net’s journalists around the world

Two Script science communication training graduates have shared the headlines in the first SciDev.Net journalism awards.

Syriacus Buguzi, from Tanzania, was runner-up in the ‘best news article’ category. This was for his story about a ‘new malaria-carrying mosquito threatening mass outbreaks in Africa’. Syriacus produced the story in collaboration with SciDev.Net deputy editor, features, Fiona Broom.

Mr Buguzi said, “I think this recognition is a great impetus to the efforts that my colleagues and I have been investing in advancing science communication as part of our careers, in our countries and Africa in general. 

“Despite being devastating to the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened our eyes to realise why we need high-quality science communication. It’s an antidote to the bad infodemic about the pandemic. I feel motivated by this award to excel further in this field.”

Meanwhile, Kenyan Gilbert Nakweya teamed-up with Ghislaine Deudjui and Julien Chongwang to write an article concerning ‘poison being used to preserve food in Africa’ which scooped top honours in the multimedia category.

Mr Nakweya said, “This award motivates me to ensure excellent reporting in science journalism. It’s special to me being my first recognition of this kind. My colleagues and I will keep doing the most noble job of writing research-based stories that could help transform livelihoods, especially in the global South.”

Science communication skills for scientists graduates

Syriacus and Gilbert have both completed the Science communication skills for journalists’ courses from Script. At present, close to 3,000 people have taken the course. The course is presented by SciDev.Net Training Coordinator Dr Charles Wendo.

Syriacus is currently studying a master’s degree in science communication at the University of Sheffield on a Chevening Scholarship.  Gilbert is presently also studying for a master’s degree – though specialising in development communication – at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

The journalists are both contributors to SciDev.Net. The outlet is the leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis about science and technology for global development.

SciDev.Net Journalism awards launched in 2021

Launched in 2021, the SciDev.Net journalism awards recognise the work of SciDev.Net’s journalists around the world and the impact their stories have made.

Of the standard of entries, managing editor of SciDev.Net Ben Deighton said, “The high quality of these articles is a great testament to the work we are doing at SciDev.Net.”

The winners of the awards were picked by SciDev.Net’s Editorial Advisory Group. The selection was based on a shortlist drawn up by SciDev.Net editors and journalists from around the world.

Other winners of the SciDev.Net journalism awards

Zoraida Portillo won best news article for her story ‘Robots help learning in a time of COVID’. The story is about the use of robots to teach children in remote parts of Peru during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Script also offers an appropriate and related course ‘Reporting the science of COVID-19’ which is also delivered by Dr Wendo.

UK-based journalist Aisling Irwin won best feature category, and was the overall winner. Irwin won for her SciDev.Net Investigates story– ‘Global tree pledge frenzy threatens ancient grasslands’. The story looks at the adverse impacts of poorly planned tree-planting campaigns.

Sanjeet Bagcchi, from India, was runner-up in the features category for his article ‘Asia Pacific’s runaway white elephant projects,’. The story is about exorbitant Asian infrastructure projects that have failed to bear fruit.

Hazem Badr, of Egypt, received the prize for the best interview with his ‘Q&A with a member of the Oxford vaccine team,’ from July 2020. The team are the creators of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The interview, conducted via the video conferencing platform Zoom, is available to read on SciDev.Net’s Arabic language edition.

Badr was also runner-up in the multimedia category for his photo story, ‘Egypt’s shrimp women.’

Mr Deighton added, “Congratulations to all winners, runners-up and shortlisted entries, and many thanks to all of those who helped put together these awards.”