Welcome to the UNESCO Science and Media Social Networking space

Greetings from Soul Beat Africa.

Please note that we have launched a new Soul Beat Africa theme site and a social networking space on Science and Media in partnership with UNESCO. This partnership contributes towards the implementation of UNESCO’s special agreement with the African Union Commission (AUC) focused on the tripartite objective of (i) providing support for the development of regional science and technology networks for journalism students and media professionals, (ii) improving the range and scale of journalism training in reporting science and technology, and (iii) developing a centre of excellence in journalism training in science and technology.

Therefore, the aim of the Science and Media social networking space would be to support the work being done by UNESCO to strengthen the role of the media in Africa’s development, with a particular emphasis on media and science. Specifically, the initiative would help develop a network of journalists reporting on science and technology and engage with them at three levels:

• Enhance their science literacy • Provide access to scientific information and knowledge, particularly as generated by UNESCO and other initiatives working to improve science journalism in Africa • Increase the quality and quantity of science and technology reporting on the continent.

Soul Beat Africa believes that an online space where journalists can access and share knowledge, and network and share experiences and issues will achieve the above objectives.

Social Networking Space Soul Beat Africa will create within its overall platform - a specific social networking space focused on science journalism. This space will have a full range of key social network capacities: registration, participant approval, individual profiles, contributions, comments, replies, one-to-one confidential contact, photos, polls, highlights of latest posts, etc.

Soul Beat Africa Knowledge This will include [a] existing communication and media knowledge on science journalism initiatives, strategies, evaluation data, resources, training opportunities, etc. and [b] newly available and published knowledge will be added, appropriately coded, and made accessible to science journalists.

The site will also have a space where summarised UNESCO and other science and media documents, as identified by UNESCO, can be accessed.

As an existing member of our Soul Beat network we would like to invite you to share any other projects, reports, evaluations, materials, or events related to Science Journalism in Africa to feature on our new site. We’d also like to know of any existing networks on science journalism you think we should include.

The following are some examples of existing science journalism knowledge on the Soul Beat Africa website:
Kenya Environment and Science Journalists Association (KENSJA) http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/300920 Environmental Reporting for African Journalists: A Handbook of Key Environmental Issues and Concepts http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/322551 A Commitment to Act Now: Broadcast Media and Climate Change http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/308376 Reporting Redd: A Journalist's Guide to the Role of Forests in Combating Global Climate Change
http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/312368 Practical Guides to Science Communication http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/181486 Better Science Reporting Workshop - Science in Action: Crop Protection (October 10 - 23 2010)
Lusaka, Zambia http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/320608 A Report on Science and Technology Coverage in the South African Print Media http://www.comminit.com/africa/node/219394

For further information, contact the following:

Gail Smith Soul Beat Africa Editor gsmith.comminit@gmail.com

Dr. Fackson Banda Programme Specialist, Division for Freedom of Expression & Media Development, UNESCO f.banda@unesco.org