Programa | Science in the Newsroom Africa

Science in the Newsroom Africa

14 Sep 2020 hasta 30 Sep 2020
South Africa

Building journalist skills for future health crises

Programa | Science in the Newsroom Africa


All the training sessions will be conducted via online on Zoom platform.  

Africa training timing: 09:00 - 10:30 SAST


  • Module 2: 15 September 2020

    Monitoring and Combating Misinformation 

    The reach and impact of misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the World Health Organization to declare an infodemic alongside the pandemic. The sheer volume of coronavirus misinformation has allowed experts to learn more about how and why misinformation spreads in a pandemic, especially inaccurate or false health and science news and information. 

    This module is designed to give journalists an overview of coronavirus-related misinformation and how it has spread. It will also introduce them to strategies they can adopt to monitor and tackle health and science misinformation. 

    By the end of this module, participants will be able to : 

    • Categorise the most pervasive strains of health and science misinformation that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Compare and analyse strategies journalists have employed to combat that misinformation.

    • Consider how to adapt these strategies to their own work. 


  • Module 4: 28 September 2020

    Innovation in Pandemic Storytelling

    Are conventional feature stories or inverted pyramid news stories really the most effective ways to communicate news and information during a pandemic? COVID-19 brought about a surge in media consumption and intense interest in health and science news and information. But audiences are also overwhelmed with a flood of content. What news and information do audiences need during a public health crisis and how can journalists develop innovative ways to get through to them? 

    This module will explore different examples of innovative storytelling during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the ways journalists successfully stood out from the crowd. It will then introduce participants to a set of principles that will support them to adopt their own innovative storytelling approaches during a public health crisis. 

    By the end of this module, participants will be able to: 

    • Describe the central challenges news organisations faced in communicating news and information to their audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    • Compare innovative storytelling solutions to these challenges.

    • Adopt a set of innovative storytelling principles to effectively communicate news and information to their core audiences during a public health crisis.


    • Journalism Educator and Co-Founder of Jumpline
  • Module 5: 29 September 2020

    Solutions Journalism 

    Public health crises like the coronavirus pandemic present communities around the world with an endless list of social issues and challenges -- solutions journalism rigorously explores the responses to these challenges, examining how and why they are working, or not working. 

    This module will introduce participants to the solutions journalism approach and several ways it has been applied to health and science reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the Global South. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their own solutions story ideas. 

    By the end of this module, participants will be able to: 

    • Describe the attributes and values of solutions journalism.

    • Evaluate solutions journalism approaches journalists have employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    • Pitch solutions journalism health crisis story ideas and design a solutions reporting plan.


    • Texas Regional Manager - Solutions Journalism Network
    • West Coast Region Manager – Solutions Journalism Network
  • Module 6: 30 September 2020

    Newsroom of the Future

    When the pandemic is over, will newsrooms go back to business as usual or will they take advantage of the rare opportunity to reinvent the ways they operate? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced news organisations to become distributed workplaces, with new newsroom workflows and journalists working from home. On one hand, the massive structural adjustments have caused burn out, taking a deep toll on journalists’ mental health. But on the other hand, flexi-hours and zoom meetings allow journalists to spend more time closer to home and family. 

    This module introduces participants to the central operational challenges newsrooms have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and some responses to these challenges. It will also give participants the opportunity to imagine a new future for their newsrooms. 

    Part 2: Wrap-Up 

    By the end of this module, participants will be able to: 

    • Describe the central operational challenges newsrooms faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Compare and analyse solutions newsrooms designed and implemented to confront these challenges.

    • Identify a major operational challenge their newsroom would face during a public health crisis and adapt solutions.



  • Module 1: 14 September 2020

    Part I: Introduction: Science, Covid-19 and Journalism

    News organisations and journalists have both excelled and faltered in the scramble to cover the COVID-19 pandemic. What worked? What hasn’t? What can we learn from these experiences to strengthen our coverage of public health crises in the future? 

    Part II: The Peril of Science Reporting

    The COVID-19 pandemic has turned everyday reporters into science journalists. Suddenly, sports reporters and arts reporters stared down the same challenges that science journalists face every day: an overwhelming volume of scientific research, unsubstantiated information and a flood of misinformation. In a public health crisis, how can journalists manage the challenges of health and science reporting and produce work of the highest standards? 

    By the end of this module, participants will be able to: 

    • Understand the overall objectives and approach of this course.
    • Describe key challenges of science reporting during a public health crisis.
    • Consider best practices of science journalism to manage these challenges.


  • Module 3: 16 September 2020

    Data Journalism 

    A data-driven approach to journalism opens up essential storytelling possibilities during a public health emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic. The possibilities are endless: engaging infographics give meaning to unfathomable numbers, analyses of inconsistent government data bring understanding to the pandemic’s true toll, and mobile phone data which can be used to track adherence to lockdowns. 

    This module will explore two key ways data has been used to tell stories during the COVID-19 pandemic: when data is the source of a story and when data is a tool used to tell the story. It will also introduce participants to a roadmap to integrate data reporting into their own work. 

    By the end of this module, participants will be able to: 

    • Describe the role of data journalism in the coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the Global South.

    • Discuss the storytelling possibilities that data journalism affords news organisations covering public health emergencies.


Science in the Newsroom Africa