The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) teaches another batch of journalists to access and interpret space data for their stories in the 2022 Space Data Dashboard Media Workshop held during World Space Week. Seven (7) journalists from various backgrounds were accepted to this year’s workshop held in person on 08 October at PhilSA’s office in UP Diliman Quezon City. Participants included a documentary filmmaker, a correspondent from the wire services, a broadcast journalist, and a campus news editor.
“We are encouraged and happy by the mix of participants who expressed interest to join the workshop this year. We believe that information from space data can make stories and content–told in various formats in multiple platforms–more interesting, relevant, and useful to the audience,” Public Relations and Information Division (PRID) Chief Tricia Zafra said.
PhilSA Space Data Mobilization and Applications Division (SDMAD) Supervising Science Research Specialist Engr. Roel de la Cruz and PhilSA Earth Sciences Space Mission Studies Division Senior Science Specialist Mr. Mark Jayson Felix facilitated the learning sessions, which included a hands-on exploration and navigation of the dashboard.
Engr. de la Cruz discussed how space data are processed, made available in the platform, and how to access these: “The dashboard is comprised of various data mobilization projects implemented by PhilSA, DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute, and STAMINA4Space. It was created at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to help policy makers and the public see the bigger picture in terms of economic impacts, and make use of the same information to come up with recovery strategies. The dashboard is constantly updated with processed data that we envision contributing to sustainable use and management of our resources.”
Mr. Felix showed how information can be interpreted from the dashboard and translated into various visualizations and content. He also discussed various stories previously published using data from the dashboard: “As researchers and scientists, I think what we are trying to do is to bring space science ‘down to Earth,’ as highlighted before in a World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council report. But we cannot do this alone. That is why we are reaching out to you, the media, to help us communicate the things that excite the science community to a larger audience, in a way that will also excite them, and eventually, get them engaged and involved.”
The Space Data Dashboard Media Workshop is an annual capacity-building activity organized by the PhilSA PRID every World Space Week. Freelance and full-time journalists, content creators, writers, and the like are invited to apply. Accepted participants are encouraged to submit stories after the workshop.