Ten Chinese reporters receive AAAS Fellowships

December 18, 2003

AAAS, the science society, has named 10 outstanding young Chinese reporters to receive the first ever AAAS Fellowships for Reporters in Developing Regions.

Winning entries chronicled researchers' frantic efforts to combat the SARS virus; the return of talented, established Chinese scientists to the mainland; Chinese stem-cell research; nanotechnology advances; and more. Reports by the winning Fellowship recipients were disseminated by such diverse media outlets as Reuters Television of Beijing; Nanfang Zhoumo; China Youth Daily; and Xinhua News, among others.

"The 10 winning Fellowship recipients represent a strong balance of national and regional media outlets, as well as broadcast, print, online, trade and mainstream media outlets, and thus, truly reflect science journalism throughout China as a whole," said Shere Abbott, AAAS's Chief International Officer. "Through this new program, AAAS seeks to encourage the accomplishments of promising young journalists who are accurately conveying scientific issues of critical importance to the public -- from sustainable development to vaccine research."

Established to support best practices in science journalism, the new Fellowship program is being made possible through generous support from the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation.

Chinese reporters who received the AAAS Fellowships for Reporters in Developing Regions were: "We were surprised and delighted by the high quality of submissions received in the first year of this program," said AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner, executive publisher of the journal, Science. "Selecting 10 finalists proved challenging because all of the submissions showed merit, and each of the applicants should feel tremendously encouraged by their accomplishments within the field of science journalism. The level of participation in this new Fellowship program speaks volumes about Chinese journalists' level of dedication and commitment to their craft. We were honored by the participation of many outstanding young reporters."

"The emergence of China as a major scientific and technical force suggests that the country has the potential to become the world's largest market for science news," said James Cornell, president of the International Science Writers Association.

"This rapid social development underlines the need for a cadre of trained, informed and independent journalists who can interpret the results of research, track the impact of new technologies and represent the public interest," said ISWA's Cornell, an advisor to the program, along with the National Association of Science Writers and the AAAS Committee on Public Understanding of Science and Technology. "Ideally, the AAAS Fellows, by sharing the experiences of their non-Chinese counterparts in the stimulating and dynamic environment of the annual meeting in Seattle, will find new and innovative ways for communicating science and technology when they return home."

The Fellowships competition was open this year to young Chinese reporters submitting original print or broadcast stories on science or technology issues. Winners will be invited to attend and cover the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle, with room, lodging and meal costs covered by AAAS. Their coverage of the Meeting will be published within a new multi-language portal on EurekAlert!.

Judging this year's entries were: Much additional advice and encouragement for the program has been provided by numerous individuals and organizations. "We're deeply grateful to everyone who sent a tip, explained Chinese journalism conventions to us, or helped us to recruit submissions," Leshner said.
-end-
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves some 265 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

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