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Science Agenda: Contextualising Science Communications in our environment Thulani Cele PREAMBLE The purpose of this presentation is to talkshop the challenges and implementable strategies Defining Mass Media
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The purpose of this presentation is to talkshop the challenges and implementable strategies
Mass Media is a broad spectrum of radio and television broadcast stations and networks, newspapers, magazines, and outdoor displays designed to appeal to the general public (Business Dictionary: www.answers.com).
Media has the ability to greatly impact an audience’s attention and receptivity to health and population-related messages
It is from this premise that mass media is perceived as a powerful tool to information dissemination, public influence, and public education.
The role of mass media is crucial to update public about the activities that Africa Centre is conducting in the area, influence policy making from the law makers, and assess the reception of the services.
Through the past eleven years, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies has been continually engaging mass media into its activities. This has been done through:
Live Broadcasting on science agenda is one of the potential engagement strategy that will create link between science and public.
Out of 10 science-related media releases 2 of them are getting published.
A revisit on way we communicate our media release is highly important.
Videography: This media is very important to show the visual effect of the science activities.
Podcast media: Bringing activities closer to the public.
live streaming: Let the public see what science is.
Blog site: Interactive media tool to engage public.
Translation of scientific language is still a challenge.
Getting interest of mass media, especially commercial media, to write about health and population-related issues is also a challenge.
Most importantly, lack of budgeting for mass media activities from the research institutions is driving the situation worse.
Understanding the role of mass media in research institutions as a tool to link the scientific activities with public is an issue that still need to be addressed.
Understanding of how to engage media and communication at a science research institution.
How to effectively strategize media and communication engagement, implementation, monitoring and continually updating the plan to meet the public interest needs to be redressed.
Almost 90% of more that 300 media organizations in South Africa is publishing less than 3% of science-related articles in their publication content. One can view this as an act of deviating from what media should be – public eye in social, economic, political, and scientific issues. This motive behind less coverage of science-related articles is perhaps perpetuated by the drive of commercial media to generate revenues on sellable articles (i.e. politics, war or sport) or lack of human capacity to write interestingly about science and research.
Nevertheless, there is still a challenge for media and communication practitioners in research agenda to convince public and private media of a critical role that they can play to bring changes into the public by disseminating scientific research information and start writing proactively on issues of health and population.
If people are continually dying from issues that health and population research are scrutinizing or have further knowledge to prevent or eliminate the death rate, who is to be accused…..media or scientific research institutions?