This article introduces some approaches used by Wellcome Trust Africa & Asia Programmes to support engagement with their research through journalists and the media. The documents here are shared as illustrative examples to help shape other research programmes' approach to media engagement.
KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP), based in Kenya, seeks to engage with the media as part of its public engagement responsibility to disseminate research. The overall aim in media engagement is to create and enable sustainable relations between researchers and the media to ensure accurate reporting of science and research findings. With increased media platforms, and a thriving social media and online engagement culture, there is a growing interest in science/research and in turn an increased space to tell the research story. In addition, the KWTRP Media Engagement Strategy seeks to empower science journalists and equally build internal capacity of research teams to engage with the media.
Media Advisory Group
The Media Advisory Group (MAG) aims to support the inclusion of media voices in research activities to provide insights in communication initiatives through the MAG's collective experiences. It also stimulates research discourse with the public by supporting the generation and dissemination of research knowledge.
KWTRP have created a MAG concept document which shares the objectives, approach, composition, activites, expected deliverables and expected outcomes of the group. The MAG have also developed Terms of Reference for the group which operate as a living document that can be adapted as the media environment changes (e.g. during the COVID-19 Pandemic).
Download the Media Advisory Group concept document [PDF] HERE
Download the Media Advisory Group ToR [PDF] HERE
Find out more about Community and Public Engagement at KWTRP HERE
Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Clinical Research Programme (MLW), based in Malawi, is dedicated to engaging with the public about its clinical research and health in general. One of the means of achieving this is through engaging with the media, as the media serve the public. The media help in shaping opinions on various health issues and encourage adoption of good health behaviors.
Journalists in Residence Program
One of the media engagement activities that MLW has been undertaking since 2012 is training the media in science reporting and thereby addressing challenges related to science reporting. In 2015 MLW changed the format of the trainings and now implements the Journalists in Residence program (JIR). The JIR program pairs journalists to a researcher or a research group for a period of one year. In the one year the journalist and the researcher learn from one another.
The Terms of Reference for the program lay out the purpose of the scheme, the recruitment criteria and how it will be implemented.
Download the Journalists in Residence ToRs [PDF] HERE
Find out more about Science Communication at MLW HERE
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