Journalists urged to elevate science reportage
Former Head, Communication and Media Enterprise Department, Pan Atlantic University, Dr Isah Mommoh has urged journalists to elevate science reportage to national consciousness.
He made the call during the Nigeria Academy of Science (NAS) Annual Award for Science Journalists and Appreciation Luncheon in Lagos.
Speaking on the topic, â€ťScientific journalism for award winning innovation and national developmentâ€ť, he said that journalists had not yet effectively reported scientific issues to be on the consciousness of the citizens.
â€śScience talks of performance, effectiveness and efficiency and Nigerians have removed these factors from their focus,â€ť he said.
Mommoh said that the impact of science journalism on development was very critical to citizens understanding of the subject and its impact in the society.
He said that Nigerian journalism should prod, encourage and proclaim scientific endeavors of Nigerianâ€™s science community.
â€śThe new journalistic genre and style is part of the development journalism that can accelerate for national development.
â€śNigeria journalism and mass communication need to focus more on science reporting, coverage, features and analysis.
â€śIf the economy is to move forward, it must be science driven and as such the new Nigerian journalism should be seen to be doing the push,â€ť he said.
Mommoh urged the NAS to have a sensitisation and mobilisation scheme that would put science constantly in the minds of the people and journalists will help to put this in the front burner.
He said that an improvement in science reporting would ensure that the public was informed, which could lead to accountability in governance.
On the award, he said it was a way of recognising outstanding science reporting of which 22 entries were received, 17 from print, one radio and four online.
â€śCriteria used in judging them was creativity, originality, relevance research, language flow, angle of the story, understanding of the subject, how well the piece will inform and educate people,â€ť he said.
Prof. Sunday Atawodi, Public Affairs Secretary, NAS, announced the winner as Tunde Ajaja of Punch and Mojeed Alabi from New Telegraph as runner up.
The winner got a plaque, gift and cash prize and the runner-up got a gift and cash prize.