There are scientists in Southern Africa doing incredible, ground-breaking research, but their work doesn’t get into the media because scientists talk in their own language – which journalists don’t usually understand.
To help scientists get their work into the public domain, frayintermedia will present a morning session to scientists at a workshop in Gaborone on March 12, sponsored by SAASTA-NSTF (the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, and the National Science and Technology Forum).
Michael Schmidt will be teaching scientists how the media operates, how to get their messages into the media, how to break down complex stories and make them easily digestible. Once the scientists understand the media landscape, they are better able to communicate their innovations and research to the general public.
Bridging the gap between science-speak and ordinary language and finding the appropriate media outlet are not the only challenges to a scientist in Botswana, however.
“Botswana has the reputation of having a very stable democracy, but it does not have the type of vigorous media and plurality that it could have,” notes Schmidt. He says there are legal challenges characteristic of the Botswana media environment.