Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome (MLW) Trust has stressed the need for Malawi to have journalists who specialise in science reporting if health-related issues and research papers are to be reported widely.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a two-day Journalists’ Capacity Building Workshop on Science Reporting held in Blantyre on Tuesday and Wednesday, MLW media relations officer Greyson Chapita said currently health reporting is mostly about events and policy pronouncements by event organisers due to journalists’ inadequate skills and knowledge to pursue complex health issues.
He said it is due to the gaps identified and challenges faced that MLW intends to introduce journalists to in-resident programme.
Said Chapita: “Under the journalists in-resident programme, the journalists will be able to pursue stories from those particular themes and MLW will be providing them with mentorship and resources and this arrangement will bridge the gap between health experts and researchers and journalists.”
He said the programme will be implemented for three years with four quarterly meetings each year and five reporters expected to produce 20 news stories will be recruited every year.
MLW, an affiliate of University of Malawi’s constituent College of Medicine, conducts biomedical research on high burden health problems in the country. Its research sites are at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Blantyre areas and clinics, Chikwawa and Thyolo. n