WAN-IFRA to host Science in the Newsroom Global eSummit 2020

2020-11-09. The World Editors Forum (WEF), WAN-IFRA’S network for editors, is to host a new global summit to help editors, journalists and newsroom managers prepare for future science or health-related crises.

by Vincent Peyrègne | November 9, 2020

Focusing this year on Journalism in the Age of Pandemics, the inaugural event takes place online on 23 and 24 November and will include input from scientists, journalists and public health officials. It is designed to help newsrooms draw lessons from existing COVID-19 coverage, build competencies in better evidence-based storytelling, and assist them in planning for future large-scale science or public health emergencies.

Participation is free. Information on the eSummit and registration is available here.

The eSummit is part of a new broader Science in the Newsroom programme, consisting of high-impact workshop training and sharing of the best newsroom practices. Supported by Temasek Foundation, the programme seeks to bridge gaps in specialist health and science reporting skills, and better tell stories to address misinformation around complex issues and build greater trust in newsrooms’ ability to meet the information needs of the communities they serve.

Following from the eSummit, the programme will also produce a journalism handbook as a handy reference summarising key learnings, action points and resources for sharing with newsrooms worldwide, as well as build up and nurture a global online community of new science and health reporters worldwide and put in place building blocks and supports to better prepare for reporting of future crises.

The first run of the programme training in August and September 2020 attracted the participation of close to 90 journalists, from Africa, South Asia and Asia-Pacific. They will be invited to attend the eSummit as well to learn from topical insights shared by panellists. More information on the programme training is available here.

Warren Fernandez, Editor of the Straits Times, and President of the World Editors Forum said the Covid-19 pandemic has presented both a challenge and an opportunity for newsrooms.

Many newsrooms are seeing a spike in readership, as people look for reliable and authoritative writers they can trust. To build that trust, we need to have the expertise on the subject, and the skills and ability to communicate the complexity of the medical and scientific issues in ways that people can understand and relate to. This summit, as well as the training, is designed to do that.”

The current public health crisis has shown the value of accurate and responsible science and health reporting. It is an unenviably difficult but indispensable task for newsrooms to navigate through data and science to tell the story meaningfully. We hope that this programme provides an opportunity for newsrooms to connect with one another, explore strategies and techniques, and synthesise the learning over the past months to stay relevant to the changing times,” said Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation Connects.

Editors and journalists have endorsed the Science in the Newsroom programme:

The Science in the Newsroom training has been invaluable. Insights and resources have been cascaded to our team and will help us upskill and strengthen our reporting.” – Mildred Galarpe, Managing Editor, SunStar, Philippines.

Our reporter gained a lot from the Science in the Newsroom Programme.  She found the verification and data journalism tools very useful in her work and on a personal level, she welcomed the opportunity to share common struggles faced by journalists during the Covid-19 pandemic. I will be looking out for further opportunities from Science in the Newsroom for the team at Daily Maverick.” – Janet Heard, Managing Editor, Daily Maverick, South Africa.


Cherilyn Ireton Executive Director, World Editor Forum |

Jen Teo Deputy Director, Training and Special Projects | 

ABOUT TEMASEK FOUNDATION Temasek Foundation supports a diverse range of programmes that uplift lives and communities in Singapore and beyond. Temasek Foundation’s programmes, made possible through philanthropic endowments gifted by Temasek, strive towards achieving positive outcomes for individuals and communities now, and for generations to come. Collectively, Temasek Foundation’s programmes strengthen social resilience, foster international exchange and regional capabilities, advance science, and protect the planet. For more information, visit

ABOUT WEF The World Editors Forum is the leading global network for editors of news organisations, built on a commitment to defend press freedom and promote editorial excellence. Established around two decades, WEF focuses on building the capacity of newsrooms through training, innovative practices, conferences and sharing of experiences. WEF is part of WAN-IFRA – the global organisation of the world’s press.

ABOUT WAN-IFRA WAN-IFRA is the World Association of News Publishers. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists and publishers around the world to operate independent media. WAN-IFRA provides its members with expertise and services to innovate and prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. With formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, it derives its authority from its global network of leading news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 60 national association members representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries.

Vincent Peyrègne

Vincent Peyrègne took up duties as Chief Executive Officer of WAN-IFRA in 2012. Prior to joining WAN-IFRA, he was Head of Development at Edipresse in Switzerland (now Tamedia) with responsibility for audience insights, editorial marketing research and product development, before joining the office of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

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