23 March 2021 •  News #Journalism

Aspiring journalists attend workshop on Science, Environment & Health Reporting at ESG Panjim


People are often reluctant to read science-based news due to its complexity. What can be done to encourage the audience to read relevant science-based news and not turn to the next page instantly?
A ‘Science, Environment & Health Reporting’ workshop, conducted by Vidnyan Parishad, Goa’s Science Film Festival of India (SCI-FFI), on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, aimed at guiding budding journalists and editors on how to make readers willingly read science and environment news. First year and second year Mass Communication students of Don Bosco College participated in the same with great enthusiasm. The workshop, which was held at ESG Panjim, dealt with various perspectives of a reader and ways to simplify a complex article for public interest. The workshop saw active participation by editors, reporters and students and began with interactive sessions by Shri Nimish Kapoor, Head, Science Films Festival Division, Vigyan Prasar and Shri Santosh Pandey, Managing Editor, India Science Wire, Vigyan Prasar, followed by a panel discussion involving journalists and scientists.
Shri Nimish Kapoor shed light on the need to establish communication between science and society. He explained that it is the media’s duty to tell the how of a science story. He suggested methods to do this and busted a few myths that came up during this pandemic, which he called the COVID-19 ‘Infodemic’, due to lack of a ‘Science Temper.’
“Science Temper is basically your ability to ask questions”, Santosh Pandey stated. Explaining the benefits of Science Temper in making informed decisions and learning from life experiences, Mr. Pandey went on to compare old and new times of media capturing. “A journalist is one who informs for the good of people, to serve people, to speak on behalf of people,” he added.
The session was followed by a panel discussion, with the panel consisting of Mr. Prakash Kamat, Senior Journalist, Dr. Ramesh Kumar, Senior Scientist at NIO, Mr. Ramnath Raikar, Asst. Editor, The Navhind Times, Dr. Rajiv Nigam, NIO Emeritus Scientist, Mr. Santosh Pandey and Mr. Fredrick Noronha, the moderator. Mr. Prakash Kamat and Mr. Ramesh Kumar raised concerns about the media often failing to write enough articles about the happenings in the fields of science and environment. Mr. Kamat stated that, “It is the job of the media to get the information and disseminate it further.”
Mr. Ramnath Raikar shared his insights on how a journalist needs to cover stories of various subjects within limited time. He also added that often science related stories go unnoticed as people tend to read more of sports, politics, etc.
Ways to interview a scientist were also discussed. “Do not sensationalise!” Dr. Rajiv Nigam exclaimed as he shared his experience with being interviewed. The discussion was later followed by a round of questions by students attending the workshop.
The panel encouraged students to master in science journalism and to develop an interesting style of writing for people to read it willingly. Lastly, Mr. Sabyesachi Bharti, Training Coordinator, India Science Wire, Vigyan Prasar, introduced the students to their science news website India Science Wire which shares science and environment related articles and is accessible to all.
The workshop came to an end with details of the Science Film Festival of India being shared and students being encouraged to actively participate in more workshops. The session was an eye-opener to all who attended.

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