Association for Science Journalism and Communication Netherlands
This website is dedicated to professionals working in Dutch science journalism and communication.
The VWN (or: Association for Science Journalism and Communication Netherlands) has over 350 members who are professionally active as a journalists, editors, spokespersons, communication consultants, programme maker/writer, illustrators and related professions. The binding force is the fascination for science and technology.
The VWN originated from the Section of Science Journalism of the NVJ, the Dutch Association of Journalists. In 1985, the section was disconnected from the NVJ and continued as an independent association of science journalists in the Netherlands. Many members, especially freelancers, not only engaged in independent science journalism, but also with corporate journalism, information and other forms of public communication. Therefore why the name and objectives were changed in 2013 and the VWN is now the Association for Science Journalism and Communication, but with particular attention to independent science journalism.
The VWN is an organisation of and for professionals in the field of public communication on science and technology. Promoting quality and quantity is gained through organising excursions and workshops for members to promote professional and substantive expertise; thinking and debating new revenue models for science journalism and communication in a changing media landscape; maintaining contacts with external parties such as research organisations and media; collaborate with sister organisations at home and abroad and lobby for science journalism and communication. The VWN is thus not a trade union. For business interests, such as legal assistance, we refer to the NVJ and the FLA.
In the statutes of the VWN, independent scientific journalism is mentioned separately because it is essential for the functioning of a democratic society. Independence makes it possible to communicate science and technology from different perspectives – to provide economic, political, social, moral, and public and political information necessary for democratic control of the scientific community – either public or private. The loyalty of the journalist is to inform the public as well as possible – readers, listeners, viewers – about developments in science and technology and what those can mean for an individual and for a society.
Where journalists approach the scientific community from different perspectives, the emphasis on many other forms of public communication lies by informing the public from the perspective of the sciences and also the interest of the institution or researcher. It is important to inform the public on limitations and uncertainties of the research in order to avoid undermining the credibility of and trust in science as the least bad method of gaining better knowledge of reality.
VWN Publication Prize
The VWN Publication Award is set to encourage participants in excursions or other activities of the VWN to publish on these activities. Since 2016, members can also submit a publication that is not directly linked to a VWN activity. The publication may be an article but also a video production or radio programme. The award includes eternal fame, mention on the website of VWN, flowers and a voucher. The prize is awarded on the general meeting each year.
WFSJ. The VWN is a member of the WFSJ, the World Federation for Science Journalists, an international organisation – based in Canada – of which 45 national, regional and international associations for science, medical and engineering journalism are members. The WFSJ stimulates independent and critical journalism in the field of science, technology, environment, health and agriculture.