SMC welcomes new advisory board chair – Tarek Bazley

The Science Media Centre is excited to have TVNZ producer and reporter Tarek Bazley on board as the new chair of its seven-member advisory board.

Tarek is a veteran reporter who recently returned to New Zealand after serving as Al Jazeera’s science and technology editor based in Doha, where he covered everything from climate change to self-driving cars for the network’s English-language channel.

Now a 1News producer and reporter, he was heavily involved in the network’s successful Vote Compass platform which let New Zealanders explore policy issues in a user-friendly way, and he continues his passion for science-related topics.

“In an increasingly digital world people need to understand how rapid advances in science and technology affect them,” he says.

“From the use of machine learning to make driving safer, to the development of personalised cancer treatments, there’s never been a greater need for communicators who can explore and explain the benefits and potential pitfalls of these new technologies.

Tarek has already attended his first advisory board meeting and served on our expert panel hearing story pitches from scientists at a recent Auckland Science Media SAVVY workshop.

“The SMC’s long-established and trusted role working both with scientists and with the media has made a significant contribution to New Zealand society, but it too must explore how new and evolving digital channels, such as Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram can be used, whether to connect its own quality content with audiences, or to help leading science organisations communicate their findings to the world,” says Tarek.

“Both start-ups and legacy media outlets are continuously experimenting and reassessing the way they engage with audiences and the SMC must do the same, to ensure it continues to be a link vital between our science community and the public of New Zealand,” he adds.

Tarek replaces outgoing advisory board chair Dr Gavin Ellis who was a valued advisor to the SMC for nearly six years and has had a major influence on the centre’s direction. We wish Gavin well for his future endeavours and welcome Tarek into the SMC fold!

You can find out more about our other advisory board members here.

Peter Griffin

Director – Science Media Centre