Mittwoch, 20.11.2019 17:54 Uhr

Measles outbreak: Immunization workshop for reporters

Verantwortlicher Autor: Jochen Raffelberg Geneva, 21.05.2019, 13:49 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Mixed News +++ Bericht 5439x gelesen

Geneva [ENA] A recent outbreak of measles in a number of European countries and distrust in subsequent state vaccination orders put the topic of immunization high on the media agenda. Since many confused people like parents seek guidance on vaccination pros and cons European journalists have a chance to study the issue at a 2.5-day immunization workshop in Geneva in October. Application deadline is 31 May.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) measles cases in Europe primarily occur in unvaccinated populations in both adults and children. Large outbreaks with fatalities are ongoing in countries that had previously eliminated or interrupted endemic transmission. The ECDC says in its May measles monitoring report that the highest numbers of the 3,800 measles cases recorded occurred in Romania, France, Poland and Lithuania. In most countries vaccination coverage was below 95 per cent. Vaccination order or planned action shine a spotlight on the confusion of concerned parents and minorities including religious groups saying they are afraid of vaccines and suspected side effects and so-called vaccine injuries.

Assisted by the Brocher Foundation the World Federation of Science Journalists will host a training workshop on immunization 14 to 16 October in Geneva. The workshop aims to provide factual information on the state of immunization in Europe and increase journalism skills for accurate immunization science coverage. The organizer will cover travel, health insurance, lodging and workshop materials. Vaccination-related topics relevant to the European context including basic vaccination science: how do vaccines work; economy of vaccination; science behind immunization strategies; vaccine hesitancy social science and social media polarization will be covered by the training.

Eligible participants include anyone that actively writes, edits or produces science news, information or commentary for an independent media, or is working as a staff member of such media or as a freelance journalist in Europe. The primary focus is on junior science journalists or general beat journalists, occasionally covering science topics. English proficiency is required. Although the workshop’s key target are reporters from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania, applications from all over Europe will be considered, the organizers say. Up to 20 participants will be selected for attending the workshop considering international diversity, gender balance, a mix of experiences and personal motivation to the topic.

The programing of the workshop is designed and led by Daniela Ovadia and Alexandra Borissova. While Ovadia is an Italian science journalist, neuroscientist and neuroethicist and the Co-director of the Neuroscience and Society Lab at the University of Pavia, Borissova works as Senior Lecturer at the Center for Science Communication at the ITMO University, St. Petersburg. She is a science reporter and editor of leading Russian news outlets including TASS news agency, Gazeta.Ru and RBC and became a German Chancellor Fellow of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. (Details:

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