Science reporting in Accra, Ghana: Sources, barriers and motivational factors

Bernard Appiah, Barbara Gastel, James N. Burdine and Leon H. Russell

In Ghana, as in many other developing countries, most science reporting is done by general reporters. However, few studies have investigated science reporting in such a situation. To understand better the dynamics of science reporting in such context, we surveyed 151 general reporters in Ghana. Respondents’ demographic characteristics resembled those found in studies elsewhere. Respondents perceived health professionals and scientists as very important sources of information for reporting science. There was an inverse correlation between journalism experience and the number of science feature stories reported in the past 12 months (p = .017). Most respondents indicated that science journalism training would motivate them to report science more. Likewise, most reported that easier access to research findings would do so. We identify characteristics of reporters, media, scientific, and training institutions that are important influences of Ghanaian reporters’ coverage of science. We provide recommendations for advancing science reporting in Ghana.

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