Proposals for science stories were underrepresented in a competition to encourage media coverage of development issues, according to the European foundation dedicated to improving journalistic standards that runs the contest.
The shortfall points to a gap between science and journalism that the European Journalism Centre (EJC) aims to bridge with a new programme.
Less than ten per cent of total entries in the Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme were science based, Wilfried Rütten, the centre’s director, tells SciDev.Net. “We were looking for more science-led stories,” he says.
“There are not so many science writers to begin with. They are few and far between, especially in terms of development,” he adds.
The grant programme, which was launched in January with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to address a deficit in development reporting. Nearly 250 applications were submitted in the second round, and the 12 winners will share some €225,500 (nearly US$305,000) in funding for their projects.