The French Association of Science Journalists
Science journalists have a key role to play in our accelerating and increasingly technological world. Understanding science is essential to understanding the choices our societies face or even how they work, and science journalists have to confront many challenges such as audience changes, technological revolutions and shifting business models. In recent years, the amount of scientific news has grown tremendously and interaction between the scientific community and news media has become more complex.
WHO WE ARE
The AJSPI has around 220 members, all of them professional journalists. The great majority work in French for national outlets, but some are employed by foreign medias and work in English or other languages.
Many AJSPI members have permanent positions. Some work in the major French daily newspapers (such as Le Monde, Le Figaro etc.), others in weekly or monthly magazines (Sciences et Vie, Sciences & Avenir, La Recherche, Pour la Science, Ca m’intéresse), others still for television and radio (RFI, France Inter, France 24...) or the web (Universciences web TV, The Conversation, etc).
The remainder are freelancers and usually work for several newspapers or magazines, web, radio or television.
AJSPI does not accept PIOs or communicators as members. But to stay in close contact with these important professions and with other stakeholders, our association has created a Club. This “Club de l’AJSPI” brings together press and communication officers and heads of laboratories and companies (be they public or private) involved in disseminating scientific, technological or medical information to the general public.
WHAT WE DO
AJSPI is a very active organisation, despite being small and made up of volunteers. Its board organises a wide range of activities for its members, and participates in different professional events:
- Breakfast debates with researchers
- Laboratory or research site visits
- Workshops and training courses on the practical aspects of scientific journalism
- Study trips aboard and research site visits (some recent examples include South Africa, Turkey, Canada, China, Japan, Guyana and Israel)
- Journalist-researcher exchange scholarships that allows journalists to spend a few days in a research laboratory or in the field with scientists, and researchers to spend a few days in a newsroom
- Seminars on high-profile issues or on the practical aspects of journalism
AJSPI also organises the next European Science Journalists Conference, which will take place in Toulouse in 2018, and is collaborating closely with its Swiss and Italian sister associations in the organisation of the next World Science Journalists Conference (Lausanne, 2019).