Science journalists in the Arab world have formed a new association that aims at enhancing the role of the media in strengthening the science and technology system in the region.
The Arab Science Journalists Association announced 13 Dec, 2006 its registration as a network under the umbrella of the Arab Science & Technology Foundation (ASTF) based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
“This announcement comes as a result of ASTF’s conviction that the media has an important role to play in connecting scientists with policy makers and the general public,” said Dr Abdalla Alnajjar, president of ASTF at the launching ceremony.
Nadia El-Awady, president of ASJA, explained that among the objectives of the new association will be the popularization of science among the general Arab public and the creation of a new generation of Arab youth that understands the role of science in the region’s development.
The Arab Science Journalists Association is already a member of the World Federation of Science Journalists and its members have been lobbying since 2003 to make the association an officially registered entity. In the meantime, they created a 100-strong network of science journalists from the region that exchanged experiences and information over the World Wide Web.
Among ASJA’s plans for 2007 under the umbrella of the Arab Science & Technology Foundation are the organization of capacity building workshops for journalists in the region on how to cover science-related issues, training for communications officers in scientific institutions on how to communicate with the media, and an Arab science journalism award.
For further information on ASJA, please contact ASJA’s president, Ms. Nadia El-Awady at: [email protected].
To join ASJA, please contact the head of ASJA’s membership committee, Dr. Magdy Said at: [email protected].
For those interested in hooking up to ASJA’s online network, please join its e-group at: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/arabsciencejournalists/