Francis Lungu is a multi-award winning journalist with both national and sub-continent awards in financial, business, agricultural and regional economic integration. He has worked for both electronic and print main stream mediain Lusaka, Zambia. Francis is specialized in science, health and environmental journalism with experience spanning over 10 years. He has worked for Multi Media Zambia, Muvi Television, The Post Newspapers Limited, and briefly corresponded with the Times of Zambia. Francis is currently working as a business and features reporter at the Zambia Daily Mail, the country’s widest circulated newspaper.
1. Why did you choose to become a science journalist?
I have found myself reporting and pursuing more and more of science related stories because of the impact they have on humanity. I have discovered that many times important science research findings have not been simplified to ordinary people because many journalists shun this field of science journalism. Science journalism challenging because I am not a scientists but I am eager to learn from experts and simplify the information to help readers easily comprehend to make informed decisions.
2. What role do science and science communication play in your country?
Science and science communication play an important role in my country in that any scientific research and its findings help in the decision making process after the information has been communicated in a simplified context.
3. What are the main challenges of science journalism in your country?
The main challenges of science journalism are that most scientists and researchers are not confident with journalists because they perceive journalists not to have enough knowledge on scientific issues. Therefore, scheduling and conducting interviews with scientists is very difficult.
Most reported research or scientific findings are done from the launches of such respective surveys. This calls for a dedicated cadre of science journalism that can be trusted.
4. Where do you see the big societal transformations in the future? What scientific research/discovery will change our world?
For me, finding and discovering cures for such diseases like HIV/AIDS and all sorts of cancers would be the world game changer.
5. What book, movie or song has radically changed your perspective? And why?
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The book has a theme of preserving cultural history in the face of external influences and it gives a voice to the disadvantaged people. It has influenced me because it was also part of the literature at high school.
- Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela: This book has radically changed my perspective of life because of the insights it brings out for a selfless life one has to lead for the sake of others. It has also influenced me on how I look at life when it comes to persevering for a just cause.