Many Arab writers at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 (WCSJ) see the event as a platform for enhancing science journalism in this region.
The conference is a platform for networking, capacity building and sharing knowledge and experience, the journalists said.
Sobhia Al Masry, a writer attached to the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi said: “This is the first time I’m attending the World Conference for Science Journalists. The conference has given us the opportunity to get better ideas. There are lot of international journalists, we can learn and share ideas from them.”
Sobhia, who has come to the conference with three other representatives from the Environment Agency further said: “Writers in many Arab countries are not trained to specialise to be science journalists. This conference could be a beginning for them to build a career on science journalism.”
Abdulhakim Mahmoud a science journalist from Yemen and founding member of the Arab Science Journalists Association also attending the conference for the first time said: “This is a very good opening for networking and capacity building opportunity for the Arab science journalists. This will be the start for Arab science journalists to rise as professionals.”
Apart form the science writers, researchers and academics 15 mass communications students at the Cairo University in Egypt too are attending the seventh World Conference of Science Journalists.
Mustafa Hamza, a mass communication graduate from the Cairo University said the conference has helped him to decide on his career.
“I came here with an open mind. But after attending certain workshops on how journalists could convey messages through documentaries, I have started to think to become a science journalist,” he said
Hamza also said, “We have researchers, academics and science in the Arab world with many skilled people. If media try to demonstrate it can become domain in science journalism in the Arab World. I think this conference is platform to begin that,”
Alla Dwiddar, a second year mass communications students from the Cairo University said, “The conference has seen journalists from all over the world. By sharing experiences and ideas Arab science journalists could learn so much to improve their carrier.”
The World Conference of Science Journalists being held for the first time in this region is hosting around 50 Arab science journalists, making the highest to attend the event which is being held every other year.
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