Extremophile Journalism

Chris Moony in Seed Magazine:

Screenhunter_12_aug_23_2104At the recent World Conference of Science Journalists in Melbourne, Australia, the final plenary session began with a demonstration I will not soon forget. The event, entitled, “Reporting Science in Emerging Economies,” opened with Christina Scott, a journalist from South Africa, at the podium. The lights went out; it was suddenly pitch black. Then Scott lit a lighter and held it aloft.

She asked the audience—containing many science journalists from the West—to imagine the difficulties faced by their peers in the developing world, who work in adverse conditions with frequent power outages, low literacy levels, a lack of government support, and worse. Subsequent panelists from Brazil, Zambia, Sri Lanka, India, and China then reminded me that reporters from developing nations have virtually everything stacked against them. And yet, in many cases they are succeeding. Scott later likened science journalists in the developing world to extremophile bacteria, evolved to thrive in harsh environments.

More here.