Climate Governance Masterclass for Journalists: Covering and reporting news in a changing climate
Climate Change is one of the major global environmental challenges, its consequences cut across various systems both ecological, social, and in major economic sectors. Despite its impact, communicating climate change information based on causes, impact and adaptation and mitigation measures has been a challenge. Journalists have critical roles to play in explaining the cause and effects of climate change, in describing what countries and communities can do to adapt to the impacts ahead, and in reporting on what governments and companies do, or do not do, to respond to these threats. This masterclass for journalists aims at building their capacities in analyzing details necessary to produce accurate reports and news regarding climate change justice and governance.
This Masterclass includes an additional skill set on participatory community videography and photography to enable participants to acquire the skills to identify issues, design and implement a participatory photo/video (PPV) project, using resources already available to them
Climate Change is currently one of the major global environmental challenges, its consequences cut across various systems both ecological, social, and major economic sectors such as; Agriculture, Energy, Water, Industry, Infrastructure, Health, Transportation, Natural resources, and Tourism.
Despite its impact on the day-to-day human activities that directly or indirectly affect the livelihood of communities, communicating climate change information based on causes, impact, and adaptation and mitigation measures has been a challenge. Journalists have critical roles to play in explaining the cause and effects of climate change, in describing what countries and communities can do to adapt to the impacts ahead, and in reporting on what governments and companies do, or do not do, to respond to these threats. However, reporting and covering climate change issues require reportorial skills which many East African journalists lack. Because of this gap, there has been a need to develop a masterclass for journalists, in order to strengthen their capacities in analyze technical details and statistics necessary to produce accurate reports and news regarding climate change.
For East Africa Journalists, proper coverage and reporting of climate change issues would mean many things. At the community level, it will raise awareness and empower communities to make informed decisions, at the national level, it might change policies and increase the level of accountability for the government in addressing climate change.
The major objective of the masterclass is to increase journalists' understanding of climate change and their capacity to report on climate change issues in East Africa.
The specific objectives include;
- strengthen journalist’s capacity and knowledge in understanding climate change issues and reinforce their skills in popularizing technical issues for a general audience;
- deepen knowledge of journalists on how to report on the vulnerable sectors, adaptation and mitigation initiatives, and climate change scientific researches.
- Provide an understanding of the Global Climate Negotiations processes and what to report
Structure of the Masterclass
The masterclass will introduce the concept of climate change and provide techniques to young journalists on the best ways to report climate change issues. The masterclass will constitute five (5) modules, each module will cover important content as far as climate change is concerned. We will subdivide modules into sessions.
The following are modules for the masterclass:
Module 1: Introduction to Climate Change
Session 1: This session will focus on Climate Science Basic where participants will be introduced to common climate change terms. Participants will also learn about greenhouse gases and their sources
Session 2: This session will examine the consequences of Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the “Greenhouse Effect” and Global Warming
Session 3: This session will discuss the relation between population growth and industrial revolution and how the two contributed to excessive amount of Green House Gases in the atmosphere over the past 200 years
Module 2: Impact of Climate Change
Session 1: This session will assess impacts of climate change at global level looking at different regions and how they are affected by climate change.
Session 2: This session will look at impacts of climate change in the East Africa. The session will take a sectoral approach where impacts of climate change in East Africa priority sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, Water, Industry, Infrastructure, Health, Transportation, Natural Resources and Tourism will be assessed
Module 3: Responding to Climate Change
Session 1: Adaptation; This session will focus on actions that countries, communities and companies take to limit the threats climate change poses with attention to the East African Region
Session 2: Mitigation; This session will focus on the efforts to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere either by removing them from the atmosphere or stopping them entering it in the first place with attention to the East African Region
Module 4: Climate Change Policies and Plans
Session 1: This session will look at Intergovernmental actions on climate change which might include treaties and agreements like the Paris Agreements and Kyoto Protocol, intergovernmental bodies like the IPCCC and UNFCCC and their roles
Session 2: This session will focus on the policies and plans at regional level from the East African Community to each member of the community.
Module 5: Reporting on Climate Change
Session 1: Reliable Sources of Climate Change Stories: This session will focus on the sources which journalist could capitalize in order to get reliable information and data to report on climate change
Session 2: Preparation of attractive Stories; The session will discuss important tips in preparation of climate change stories that will attract attention of the public
Session 3: Report on Adaptation and Mitigation: The session will focus on guiding journalists on how to report adaptation and mitigation initiatives in their countries. It will also guide journalists on relevant questions to ask when looking for information
Session 4: How to report scientific research on Climate Change: This session will equip journalists with skills to understand the real-life implications of research for media audiences and to explain to these audiences how the new information is relevant to them
Session 5: Covering international climate change negotiations: UN negotiations on climate change provide plenty of reporting opportunities for journalists, even if they are not there in person. The outcomes of talks define what countries agree to do in order to address climate change. This session will look at issues that journalists should follow during UN negotiations which happens almost every year
The training is open to participants with the following requirements:
- Young journalists, photojournalists, and citizen reporters (the participants don’t need to be employed by a media organization, they can be freelance writers or so-called citizen journalists who produce, share or distribute public interest content through social media)
- Aged 18-35 years old
- Based or from East African countries (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda)
- Having already published articles on climate change or sustainable development issues