31 July 2021, Africa: Ben Deighton, SciDev.Net’s Managing Editor, has narrowly missed out on one of the top honours in science journalism – the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) Awards 2021 Editor of the Year prize.
Mr Deighton, who joined SciDev.Net in 2017 after four years as editor of Horizon magazine, was shortlisted alongside Nigel Praities of the Pharmaceutical Journal and Fiona Godlee from the British Medical Journal (BMJ) who won the award.
A former editor at Animal Pharm and reporter with Reuters News Agency in London and Brussels, Mr Deighton impressed the judges after seeing SciDev.Net achieve record reach of its science news with its content on the COVID-19 pandemic seen or heard over 450 million times.
The journalist, who started his career on the Hackney Gazette in London, also presided over a string of exclusive stories in 2020/21. These included a story exposing ‘false hope’ to victims of COVID-19 in Latin America which won first place in the Science & Health category of the COVID-19 Reporting Contest organised by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the International Network of Journalists (IJNet).
Mr Deighton has also been influential in the launch of SciDev.Net’s new podcast – Africa Science Focus – which looks at science and health in Sub-Saharan Africa and gives policymakers, development practitioners, academics and the general public a weekly insight into the impact that science is having in Africa’s least-developed countries. He has also helped create SciDev.Net’s own journalism awards that recognise the achievements of its contributors around the world – covering stories from Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia & Pacific.
The ABSW is a membership organisation for media professionals who cover science, medicine, environment, mathematics, engineering and technology. The ABSW Awards 2021 were handed out during a ceremony held as part of the Association’s Science Journalism Summer School.
Mr Deighton said, “The success achieved by SciDev.Net in 2020 is thanks to the effort of the whole team who achieved so much despite the very difficult circumstances faced in 2020.”
SciDev.Net – which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year – is the world’s leading source of reliable and authoritative news about science and technology for global development. It is part of CABI but editorially independent from it with content overseen by an independent Editorial Advisory Group.
Dr Daniel Elger, Chief Executive Officer, CABI, said, “I’m particularly proud of Ben and his team for further raising SciDev.Net’s reputation for its high-quality and exclusive content which is helping to inform, spark debate and make great impact around the world.”