LASICS .::. Open Conference Systems, IAMCR 2010: Communication and Citizenship

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A non conventional way to teach journalism: research and practice in reporting Science in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon

Jimena Felipe Beltrão

Last modified: 2010-06-03


To train human resources in the field of journalism for the reporting of science has been a fundamental part of a project developed at the Communication Department at the Goeldi Museum in Belém, Brazil. For 25 years, the Department has provided the conditions for students and journalists to improve their skills to write about scientific issues. As the oldest scientific research institution in the Brazilian Amazon, the Museum is a fertile ground to promote science journalism. An ongoing initiative hosts a program that brings together trainees and professionals who produce content based on research carried out in the fields of Anthropology, Archaelogy, Zoology, Botany, Earth Sciences and Ecology. To share this experience is the possibility to expose the practice to scrutiny as well as demonstrate the non-formal ways of educating in journalism. Along side journalistic practices to produce news and edit a number of products, is research conducted simultaneously. The idea is to understand the whole of the process of news production from a particular point of view in terms of subject – Science – and geographic setting – the Eastern Brazilian Amazon. A relevant scientific production in the field of Journalism has come out as result of stimulus exercised in the past seven years with publication in journals and presentations in both national and international meetings. This work faces several difficulties given that is conducted in a research institution rather than in a namely education institution. Its non conventional nature makes it difficult to gain financial support and recognition. But regardless of a lack of tradition in conducting research in journalism, it has been no obstacle to produce relevant studies as well as train journalists, science writers, editors. Coordinated by professionals with higher education degrees, this program is strategic to reveal themes of regional interest based on good journalistic practices. Non-formal, unconventional approach has proved of benefit when journalistic training is the issue in a Museum in the Brazilian Amazon.

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