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SciDev.Net launches free course to help journalists report the science of COVID-19


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A free self-paced online course has been launched introducing journalists to credible COVID-19 news sources and empowering them to spot the news and report to their audiences.


The ‘Reporting the science of COVID-19’ course – developed by SciDev.Net’s Script training programme and funded by Sida – is led by instructor, scientist and journalist Dr Charles Wendo. It is aimed at journalists who report on the coronavirus but have little or no experience in science journalism.


Consisting of three modules – each taking no more than an hour to complete – the course  will provide the participant with a substantial amount of learning within a short time and at their convenience.


Module 1 looks at ‘Emerging respiratory viruses: why COVID-19 might not be the last’, Module 2 considers ‘sources of COVID-19 research information’ and Module 3 examines ‘Packaging the COVID-19 science story’.


Before starting the first module, journalists are encouraged to read the practical guide ‘How to report the science of COVID-19’ which gives guidance on writing about the people affected while not neglecting the science, using fact-checking tools to help verify information and not letting ‘scientific dissidents’ lead the journalist to false balance.


Dr Wendo said, “Many journalists find themselves reporting on COVID-19 without much knowledge of the basics, where to find credible information and how to package a great story. This course makes their work easier by explaining the science of COVID-19, pointing them to credible sources of information and showing them how to write a great science story.”


There is no time limit on completing the course and access to materials – across any online devices – is available for as long as the journalist likes.



Additional information


Photo: (Credit: iStock).


Find out more about the free ‘Reporting the science of COVID-19’ course and sign-up for it here.


About Script


Script is a free training and networking resource for journalists, scientists and anyone who wants to communicate science in an engaging and accurate way.


By connecting reporters and researchers, and giving both groups the skills to understand and communicate with each other, Script aims to increase the quantity and quality of science-related stories in the news. We believe this is essential to enable informed, evidence-based decision-making, by everyone from individuals to policymakers.


About SciDev.Net


SciDev.Net is the world’s leading source of science news focused on low- and middle-income countries. SciDev.Net has contributors in over 80 countries around the world and publishes in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.



About Sida


Sida is Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation. Through cooperation with civil society, multilateral organisations, public agencies and the private sector they work for sustainable development and help create conditions for people living in poverty and oppression to improve their living conditions.





Notes to Editor

Media enquiries

Wayne Coles, Communications Manager, CABI, email: w.coles@cabi.org Tel: +44 (0)1491 829395

About CABI
CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

Through knowledge sharing and science, CABI helps address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge. Our 50 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include development and research projects, scientific publishing and microbial services.

We gratefully acknowledge the core financial support from our member countries (and lead agencies) including the United Kingdom (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), China (Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs), Australia (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), Canada (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Netherlands (Directorate-General for International Cooperation, and Switzerland (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). Other sources of funding include programme/project funding from development agencies, the fees paid by our member countries and profits from our publishing activities which enable CABI to support rural development and scientific research around the world.


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