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35 Latin American Journalists Get
Science Training at UCSD and Institute of the Americas

By Shelley Dubois | July 28, 2006

Thirty-five journalists from 14 Latin American countries arrived on the UCSD campus this month to sharpen their science reporting skills at an 11-day science journalism workshop organized and hosted by the Institute of the Americas.

Now in its third year, the Jack F. Ealy Conference on Science Journalism has trained more than 130 newspaper, television and radio journalists throughout Latin America in reporting about science, a subject of increasing importance in many Latin American countries developing technology-based economies.

This year’s conference took place July 12 to 22 and featured lectures and workshops by scientists, engineers and news professionals from UCSD and other institutions in Mexico and the San Diego community.
 
“This is a great opportunity for journalists to obtain specialized training in science writing and learn first hand about leading research in the field.  We hope that this opportunity will not only aid in their professional development but also foster through their work greater interest and support for the sciences in Latin America,” said Daniela Kelly, director of Science Journalism for the Institute of the Americas.

Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, owner of the Mexican newspaper El Universal, provided fellowships for 16 of the attending journalists.  These select few were chosen out of 400 total applicants.  Companies such as PEMEX, Pfizer, and the State of Hidalgo, Mexico sponsored the other 19 attendees.

Many of the fellows completed articles for newspapers in their home countries during the conference.  In addition to these projects, Lynne Friedman of the San Diego Science Writers Association and Sergio Muñoz, contributing editor from the L.A. Times distributed and edited writing assignments for the journalists to provide them with feedback on style and content.

The workshop offered the journalists a chance to interact one-on-one with scientists and other speakers as well as the opportunity to continue to use them as resources in the future.  The Ealy workshop also provided the journalists with the contact information of the other participants in hopes that the group of writers from all over Latin America will use each other as resources.

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