In a recent announcement, five journalists have been awarded the India Science Media Fellowships—a first of its kind fellowship in India that is designed to support Indian journalists to build a body of science-based journalistic work. Archana Jyoti from The Pioneer, Aditya Bidwai from Aajtak.in, Paramananda Barman from Research Matters, Rabia Noor from Greater Kashmir and Muhammed Sulhaf K from Madhyamam Daily are this year’s Fellows.
Announced on the eve of the National Science Day in February 2019, the India Science Media Fellowships are presented by The Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance (India Alliance) in collaboration with Nature India. Each of the five Fellows will receive a fellowship of INR one lakh each over the next six months to publish or broadcast stories focussing on life sciences, biomedicine, application-based or basic biological research, and health.
According to the press release by the organisers, the Fellowships “aims to boost the coverage of science in the Indian media and consequently enrich public understanding of and engagement with science and related policy issues”.
The applicants for the Fellowships included professional journalists, including freelancers, in print, broadcast or new media in English or any Indian regional language, with at least three years of demonstrated experience in writing on science or related issues. The duration of the fellowship is six months, during which the Fellows must produce five stories or ten news pieces on their selected topics.
The announcement is definitely a step towards supporting Indian journalists to build a body of science-based journalistic work. Here is a big congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to big strides in India’s science communication scene in the days to come!