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Moving towards Mainstream Science Journalism :Some Experiences from India !

Science journalism is lately gaining popularity in India.At least it is in news these days .There are two premier organizations of Government of India [GOI] ,National council of science and technology communication [NCSTC] and Vigyan Prasar mainly engaged in popularizing science among Indian masses .NCSTC is working as a major funding agency for various projects with the mandate to communicate science among the lay people .
But science journalism has not yet come out from the shackles of jaw twisting terminologies and specialized and highly technical details which often results in mis or no communication and thus becomes a counter productive futile exercise.
This traditional form of science journalism is still in vogue in India.
In order to rescue the situation science journalism has to be more media savvy-more mainstream orientated and appealing to public.The new breed of so called science communicators must learn the tricks of the trade of mainstream journalism without of course distorting the scientific contents of the reports concerned.This requires a lot of training with perseverance and concerted efforts which new comers are usually not willing to exert.
Science journalism when presented as 'science journalism' instantly looses its appeal and the audience looks forwards to some other interesting items.Unless the whole movement of bringing science to common man learns the tricks of the mainstream journalism and insinuates into its domain nothing perceptible seems to emerge out from this newly hatched discipline at least in India.All the government fundings may just go waste and drain out like many other government sponsored projects.
Let us march towards an era of mainstream science journalism..
Your opinion on the issue is solicited and shall be highly valued in evolving a strategy /work plan for many outreach science programmes in India.

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Comment by Dr.Arvind Mishra on August 12, 2008 at 12:17
Thanks Jayant, I did not mean it in literal sense.While you are right We have still to go a long way to make science understandable to common people.
Comment by T V Jayan on August 11, 2008 at 12:26
It's wrong to say that Indian science journalism hasn't come out of "the shackles of jaw twisting terminologies". There have been at least a few daily newspapers in India that have been treating science reporting as seriously as coverage on politics, sports, etc. Also, there are at least of a handful of Indian science reporters who can make the mark. If science coverage in Indian newspapers is low, there are other reasons as well. For one, what science is reported on the pages of a daily newspaper is directly proportional to quality of science done in that particular country from where the paper comes out.

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