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When: Friday, 12 April 2024 - Friday, 12 April 2024
Where: Online Event
Start time:9:00
+27 11 274 9327/ 9263/9368


Cost: Cost: WHC & WITS Staff, Students and Faculty - Free Private Rate: R 250,00 + VAT


In today's dynamic media landscape, the relationship between health professionals, scientists, and the media plays a pivotal role in shaping public perceptions, especially in the context of the challenges witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk aims to highlight the importance of active engagement between health professionals and the media as a strategic avenue to bridge the gap between scientific expertise and societal understanding.


  • Highlighting the influential power of the media: Explore the far-reaching consequences of media narratives on public understanding of health-related issues, drawing lessons from the experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Addressing misinformation and building trust: Equip health professionals with effective communication strategies to counteract misinformation, fostering a sense of trust and credibility between the scientific community and the public.
  • Navigating the media landscape: Provide practical insights and tools for health professionals to engage with the media, emphasising the importance of clear and accessible communication without compromising scientific accuracy.
  • Advocating for evidence-based reporting: Encourage health professionals to actively shape media narratives by promoting evidence-based reporting, thus contributing to a more informed and nuanced public discourse.
  • Empowering health professionals as health advocates: Inspire them to become proactive advocates in the media, sharing their expertise to educate and empower the public while advocating for policies that support science-based decision-making.



Crystal Orderson is an acclaimed South African journalist who has spent the past two decades reporting socio- economic issues in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa and, most recently, the most significant national election since the fall of apartheid 30 years ago. She was the first West Africa bureau chief for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC News, based in Senegal, and has managed a myriad of different newsrooms in the country.

She is currently reporting for several local and international media outlets, including ARD Germany, Al Jazeera, BBC Radio, LBC Radio in London, and PBS Washington. Crystal is also a regular analyst on local media on African politics and has also been involved with several non-governmental organisations, such as the Bulungula Incubator Project, the Cape Town University of Technology, and Project Ignite, a school project working with disadvantaged schools in her home city of Cape Town. She is a regular media trainer for several NGO's and companies.

Crystal is also part of the African Leadership Initiative and a current Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, which is allowing her to engage in South African and African issues. Crystal holds degrees from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of Cape Town and Sussex University.

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