The Internews Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Asia-Pacific held its first Training of Trainers/Managers on March 28 – April 1, 2018 in the coastal region of Rayong, Thailand. The five-day training brought together 24 leaders of environmental journalist networks in the region, journalists and project team members to discuss the needs and challenges faced by environmental journalists, the main environmental threats in different countries and sub-regions, and the priorities for the project. The training also covered the topics of gender inclusion, monitoring and evaluation approaches, journalist safety, digital literacy and data journalism.
The highlight of the ToT/M was the field trip to Laem Chabang and Na Klua old town, an area marked out by the Thai government for the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor. There, the local community took us on a walking tour around the hundred-year-old town they are keen to conserve. We also spoke to a community of local fishermen and an academic about their concerns of the expansion of the Laem Chabang port and its implications for local fish stocks and livelihoods.
Despite the intensive program for the training, participants managed to find time to do a game of ultimate frisbee on the beach, and for those who sought peace and mindfulness, yoga by the pool. The five days spent together at the training and the common challenges shared by journalists from across the region helped strengthen the bonding among the participants and the joint commitment to improve the quality and quantity of environment journalism in the region.