Internews Plays Key Role in Bringing News of Climate Change Conference to the World

November 23, 2010
To improve and increase accurate, thoughtful coverage of climate change, Internews Network is helping audiences in the United States and the developing world – where environmental change hits hardest – receive news from the United Nations Climate Summit in Cancun.

Ten US journalists from various geographic markets in the United States have been selected as this year’s Internews Earth Journalism Network Fellows to attend COP16, the United Nations Climate Change Summit held in Cancun from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, 2010.  The 10 journalists will report for a wide variety of outlets ranging from local newspapers to national radio.

See a list of the 2010 fellows.

In addition to sending the 10 US reporters to COP16, Internews, a media development nonprofit, is also joining two other organizations— Panos and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)—to bring 35 journalists from developing countries to report on the conference as part of the Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP).

The annual CCMP program enables journalists to report in depth on the negotiations and share their stories with millions of people in developing countries who might not yet understand how climate change will affect them. This year’s CCMP journalism Fellows are from 29 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean – and includes countries that are both vulnerable to climate change and have a key role to play in addressing it.

All journalists taking part in the programs have their travel costs covered, and are able to take part in specially organized briefings, field trips, interview opportunities and trainings. All reporting done by the fellows is completely independent—Internews and its partner organizations exercise no editorial control.

The programs aim to offer audiences as much information as possible, at a time when the quality and quantity of reporting appears to be decreasing. A University of Oxford study released in November, for example, called for more science-based reporting when it comes to climate change.

"In the US, we are seeing more and more newsrooms cut their budgets, which leads to a withering of objective climate change information. Meanwhile, it’s crucial that journalists in the developing world be the eyes, ears and voices of their fellow citizens who are feeling the effects of climate change most acutely because they often live closer to nature—literally—and have fewer means to adapt, putting them on the frontlines of environmental destabilization,” said James Fahn, executive director of the Internews Earth Journalism Network. 

Similar delegations made possible in part by Internews at last year’s COP15 produced more than 500 stories for their home media outlets, reaching hundreds of millions who otherwise would not have had access to information from the negotiations.