Ahmed Ateyya is an Egyptian journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is the winner of the 2011 Arab Press Award for special reporting, and a finalist in the 2013 Samir Qassir audiovisual human rights reporting. He holds an MA in documentary filmmaking form Goldsmiths University of London. He works as the deputy managing editor of elwatannews.com, and teaches journalism at Zewail City of Science and Technology.
1. Why did you choose to become a science journalist?
Science gives creative solutions to situations that are considered deadlock problems to uninformed politicians. From water shortages to power failures, I believe that my government would have been able to deal with the country’s mounting problems much more efficiently, if they had considered investing in scientific research.
2. What role do science and science communication play in your country?
The public funding for scientific research is insignificant. Except for individual efforts by few journalists, there is no solid tradition of science journalism in Egypt.
However, a growing number of young Egyptian science and technology entrepreneurs are attracting the attention of the general public. Thus, science coverage is becoming more relevant.
3. In your opinion, which are the walls that will have to fall in science and society within the next five years?
Sooner or later, the economic barriers that hinder renewable energy from becoming our main source of energy will have to fall.
4. What are the biggest threats/obstacles to good science journalism and how could we tackle them?
There are mounting economic pressures on the mainstream media. Journalists are forced to produce more stories per day. Click-baits dominate social media. Science journalists may find their niche not valuable enough for most publications.