International student journalists prepare to cover WCSJ2017

An eager group of 22 young science writers from across the globe will gather in San Francisco this week to cover a rich array of science and journalism sessions at the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists.

The student journalists, chosen from an extremely competitive pool of 167 applicants, will attend the conference on fully funded travel fellowships. The program is designed to boost their early careers by immersing them in seminars and discussions with the world’s leading science writers and multimedia producers.

Nations represented by the travel fellows include Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Portugal, Qatar, and South Africa. Seven of the students are from the U.S.; 15 of the 22 journalists are women.

“These talented students all want to do journalism that makes a difference, and many of them have gotten started in their home countries,” said Robert Irion, chair of the meeting’s education committee. “We want to catalyze their work, and we intend to give them the connections and ongoing support they need to be successful.”

Irion, director emeritus of the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will run a half-day training workshop for the students with independent journalist Diego Graglia, a former correspondent for Associated Press in Mexico City. The workshop will review the basic skills of news coverage and will address questions the students have about forging international careers in science writing.

Each student has selected two sessions to cover for the meeting’s online news site of record. Senior journalists will edit one written news story by each travel fellow. The second story can be in another format, such as an infographic, a podcast, photos with captions, a mini-profile, or a Q&A with speakers.

Look for their coverage at wcsj2017.org.