The first cohort of the Medical Journalism Program under MedicoPRESS, who constitute scientists with a background in biology and medicine, have joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Dar es Salaam.
Isai Mathias and Carolyn Mwasha are passionate about journalism and through MedicoPRESS, they will be receiving continuous mentorship as they build their portfolio in Medical Journalism. The program was launched two weeks ago, and graced by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) Program Manager Ms. Saumu Mwalimu, who pledged moral and technical support to MedicoPRESS and the scholars.
Dr. Syriacus Buguzi, an experienced Science/ medical journalist and Executive Director of MedicoPRESS, spoke on the importance of Infusing Biology/ Medical scientists with Journalism skills to practice “Medical Journalism”:
“Medical journalism is essential for public health education and advocacy. Medical journalists play a vital role in bridging the gap between the medical community and the public. It plays a vital role in communicating complex medical information in a clear and understandable way, and eventually it helps hold decision-makers accountable for public health.”
Currently, the program is initially receiving support from RESEARCHCOM which hosts MedicoPRESS and the Ghana-based Centre for Science and Health Communication led by Prof. Benard Appiah, a veteran science journalist and researcher based in the United States.
The Medical Journalism Program, the first of its kind in Tanzania, will train scientists with a background in biology and medical science to become medical journalists. The two scholars, Ms. Carolyn Mwasha and Mr. Isai Mathias, will go through a rigorous four-stage training program:
- Acquiring academic qualifications at the University of Dar es Salaam’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
- Concurrently building a Medical Journalism Portfolio through MEDICOPRESS www.medicopress.media
- Going through the accreditation process through the Ministry of Information, Communication and Information Technology
- Graduating as qualified journalists who have been nurtured to become Medical Journalists
The Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) Program Manager Ms. Saumu Mwalimu said specialised journalism is important in Tanzania and that MedicoPRESS is showing the way:
“Specialised journalism is important in Tanzania because it allows journalists to develop expertise in specific areas of knowledge, such as science, health, and business. This expertise allows journalists to provide more in-depth and nuanced coverage of these topics. MedicoPRESS is showing the way by establishing the first Medical Journalism Program in Tanzania. This program will help to ensure that Tanzania has a cadre of journalists with background in science who are qualified to report on complex medical issues in an accurate and informative way.”
MEDICOPRESS believes that medical journalism is essential for public health education and advocacy. Medical journalists play a vital role in bridging the gap between the medical community and the public. They help to communicate complex medical information in a clear and understandable way, and they hold decision-makers accountable for public health.
We are confident that Carolyn and Isai will become excellent medical journalists. They are both passionate about science and communication, and they are committed to using their skills to make a positive impact on the world.