Two African science journalists have been elected to the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ), as members of the Executive Board.

They are Ms Mandi Smallhorne, the President of the African Federation of Science Journalists, and the South African Science Journalists Association, and Mr Ochieng Ogodo, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Coordinator and News Editor of Science and Development ( news portal based in Kenya.

The two are part of four new Board Members elected, the first time Africa has two representatives on the same international Board of the WFSJ, and would be inducted during the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco, in October.

The WFSJ is the most prestigious international body honing science journalism, globally.

Ms Smallhorne said funding for science journalism was drying up though journalists were showing much interest and passion to report and communicate science and technology, which abound on the Continent.

“We hope to strike a balance between scientists and journalists on one hand and editors and reporters on the other, in order to make science and technology reporting acceptable to all,” she said.

Ms Smallhorne said science journalism underpinned development in all spheres and urged multinational entities, foundations, corporate Africa as well as governments’ to support the industry to flourish, pledging to deepen attention for science coverage.

Mr Ogodo, in an email, said the opportunity to serve was a great honour as well as grand responsibility to chart a path of vibrant inclusiveness, collaborations and make informed choices.

“The past has been very good, the present looks very promising and we need to deliver the future against the challenges that we will encounter from time to time. It is urgent we do that.

“It is high time for science journalists on the Continent to rise to the occasion and build vibrant science journalism associations anchored on progressive and participatory pillars,” he said.

Mr Ogodo expressed optimism of pursuing forward-looking regimes for science journalists towards reviving ailing associations at all levels.
The two pledged to fight for resources to shore-up science reporting and communication, particularly in Africa and the global south.

Source: GNA/