Impact of media training and journalist support on the development of health research reporting in Malaw

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n 2012, the Science Communication Department at Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust established the Journalist in Residence programme. It was established to train journalists and give them support when reporting health research stories from Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust. However, the programme has not been evaluated since its inception. Objective: To assess the impact of media training and support through the Journalist in Residence programme on the development of health research reporting in Malawi. Qualitative approaches were used to conduct in-depth interviews with 5 journalists, 2 editors, 2 consultants, 5 researchers, and 3 Ministry of Health Officials. Two Focus Group Discussions were also conducted with Community Advisory Group members selected in Blantyre and Chikwawa. All interviews and focus group discussions were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using Nvivo11. The findings show that most stakeholders recognize that JIR programme has a positive impact on the development of health research reporting in Malawi. The quantity and quality of health research stories are reported to have increased after introducing the programme. Additionally, journalists are motivated to write health research stories as they get training as well as support in the programme. The health research work of Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust is now being recognized by policy makers and the public at large through stories published by journalists in the programme.The evaluation found that JIR programme is a powerful tool to achieving the development of health research reporting in Malawi through all its aspects.