News: News Archives
Chinese Journalists Win Fellowships for Science Reporters in Developing Regions
Six young Chinese journalists are the winners of the 2007 AAAS Fellowships for Science Reporters in Developing Regions. The award, sponsored by the publisher Elsevier, brings science writers to the AAAS Annual Meeting, where they can cover the latest research and mingle with their fellow science writers from around the world.
This year's winners are Gong Yidong, China Features; Wu Chong, China Daily; Yanhong Wang, Xinhua News; and Guo Kun, Beijing Times, along with honorary fellows Ding Yimin, Xinhua News, and Jia Hepeng, China Daily/SciDev.net.
The Fellowship "gives me a unique opportunity to participate in a marvelous science festival held by one of the largest scientific societies," Wang said, adding that she is especially looking forward to talking with her colleagues in the United States.
This year's Annual Meeting theme, "Science and Technology for Sustainable Well-Being," is "extremely important for China, which is undergoing overwhelming changes," Yidong said.
Chong said news of the Fellowship was "an inspiration to my career" and that it came as a surprise "because I still considered myself too young a reporter to win any prestigious award like this."
The Fellowship pays for travel, lodging, and meals at the San Francisco meeting. Four fellows were chosen from a pool of reporters nominated by their editors at leading Chinese media organizations. The two honorary fellows were chosen in recognition of their excellence in science reporting. William Chang of the U.S. National Science Foundation's Beijing office was the independent judge for the award.
Chang said that open and unbiased news reporting is on the rise in China, "but there is still great room for further improvement. I feel that all the applicants recognized this, and made their best efforts under the present constraints."
The Fellowship winners "will be included in the AAAS writers' family, where they can seek support from this network and help the world community to better understand Chinese science," Chang added.
The program is an important part of AAAS's mission to encourage international scientific dialogue and development, according to Vaughan Turekian, AAAS's chief international officer.
"China is clearly an emerging important place for science, and one key piece of trying to develop a scientific infrastructure is making sure that science journalism is also strong," Turekian said.
The Fellowship is a program of EurekAlert!, AAAS's editorially independent Web site for reporters. Rahman Culver, who works with Karen Yuan to oversee the fellowships, said that past winners have praised the program for its role in connecting reporters in developing countries to a wider audience.
The Fellowships were launched in 2004 with a seed grant from the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation, with additional support in 2005 from the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization, The Vaccine Fund, and the Rotavirus Vaccine Program. Past winners include science reporters from Africa, Latin America, and China.
"Elsevier would like to help equip science journalists from all over the world with the necessary skills and insights in order to write accurate 'good science' articles that benefit their communities," said Shira Tabachnikoff, the publisher's director of corporate relations.
"Being able to support independent science reporting in China is incredibly meaningful," said Ginger Pinholster, director of AAAS's Office of Public Programs. "In their lifetimes, these promising young journalists will be in a position to tell the story of China's transformation."
See more information about this year's Fellowship recipients, including their winning entries, at EurekAlert!
9 February 2007