Thomson Reuters Foundation calls application for Reporting on Malaria in Africa. Thomson Reuters Foundation calls African journalists, who are motivated to report on malaria, the opportunity to take part in a new remote training initiative, Reporting on Malaria in Africa. This remote course will begin on Monday, 07 September, and end on Friday, 25 September.
In 2018, the WHO estimated there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide and global deaths tallied at 405,000, with pregnant women and young children most vulnerable to the deadly disease. The WHO African Region represented 93% of cases and 94% of deaths that year.
At a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread rapidly across the world, now more than ever it is crucial that efforts to control malaria are not undermined. Adding to this crisis, widespread mis- and disinformation present a serious challenge to the public access to accurate information about public health crises such as malaria.
As new technologies emerge, new reporting techniques must be employed to accurately report on diseases. Media plays a critical role in creating a sustained and informed discourse on any public health initiative, and to that end has a responsibility to be impartial, responsible, and informed.
Working with journalists across sub-Saharan Africa, the Thomson Reuters Foundation Reporting on Malaria in Africa seeks to:
- Deepen participants’ knowledge of malaria and public health more broadly.
- Strengthen journalistic standards and enhance evidence-based reporting skills to help African journalists cover the topic in an accurate and balanced way.
- Provide intensive technical training and unique insights to participants in how to enhance reporting skills in this field.
The cohort will meet at least twice a week for a live two-hour virtual session with trainers and/or expert speakers to ask questions, share ideas, learn new skills, and practice them. All live sessions will be supplemented with extra material. Post-session discussions and feedback on an exclusive forum will extend the learning process.
Journalists who take part must commit to all elements of the scheme, signing an agreement to this effect. These elements include:
- Remote training on malaria reporting over a three-week period. Approximately 6- to 8-hour time commitment on average per week.
- For selected participants, following the end of the remote course: The production of stories on malaria and An editorial support scheme that will help produce these stories.
Participants in Thomson Reuters Foundation Reporting on Malaria in Africa will:
- Receive training on ethical reporting and standards in health reporting, working with sources, how to search for trusted information, and identify fake news, story pitching.
- Deepen their knowledge of malaria and public health more broadly, covering the current challenges that are hindering progress in the fight against malaria as well as the new and innovative approaches of reducing malaria incidence and their associated challenges and criticisms.
- Be exposed to expert speakers.
- Gain access to story ideas and editorial advice and will be invited to share your own expertise with other participants.
- Propose one or more malaria story ideas that you wish to work on – if you are selected, we will provide experienced journalists to help you pursue your malaria stories right up to publication/broadcast. Selected participants will receive modest funding to help them realize their malaria stories.
- African journalists, based in sub-Saharan Africa, working as staff journalists or regular contributors to English-language media organizations in their respective countries.
- Journalists working for a news organization will need consent from their editor to take part. Freelancers should provide evidence that one or more media organizations will be willing to take their work.
- Journalists able to commit to the full length of the 3-week course and to spend significant time working on malaria stories in the weeks following the end of the course.
- Journalists with at least three years of professional experience.
- It is an advantage if you have health reporting experience, but if you have a strong motivation to learn about malaria and health and report on these issues then we will consider your application.
- Journalists working in any medium or multiple media are welcome to apply (print, online, radio or television).
- Journalists applying must have fluent English (reading, writing, speaking, listening).
- Journalists applying must have access to a minimum internet speed of 1 MB/second.