Connecting food and culture to domestic tourists in Cambodia. A report on deforestation that led to a government investigation in Vietnam. An examination of “no fire” policies in Thailand. These are just some of the results of several projects currently underway from the Earth Journalism Network’s cohort of Asia-Pacific media grantees, who are using distinct and innovative approaches to build journalists’ reporting skills in their regions.
South Eastern Globe Communications is exploiting a recent boom in domestic tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic to create buy-in among Cambodian people to protect the country’s resources by connecting these issues to food and culture – two things that Cambodians hold dear.
The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sri Lanka is developing a multimedia storytelling platform for the publication of 12 high-quality environmental investigations. NextBlue is hosting a journalism training workshop focused on water and climate change issues in Bangladesh and Yayasan Citra Mandiri Mentawai is supporting indigenous journalists in Indonesia (read a more in-depth story).
Read on to learn more about two specific projects in Nepal and the Philippines, along with some updates from several 2020 grantees just wrapping up their activities following delays due to the coronavirus.
Partner launches online certificate course on reporting climate change for Philippine journalists
On March 15, the Asian Center for Journalism at Ateneo de Manila University kicked off its climate change reporting course with 15 journalists and climate communicators from various organizations.
Drawing on the expertise of scientists, science communicators and media experts from ACFJ-Ateneo, the Earth Journalism Network and the national government, the eight-week course is designed to ground participants’ knowledge in the science of climate change and introduce them to methods for better communicating its effects.
Topics will cover scientific language and worldviews; climate change basics; lessons from climate change reporting; solutions journalism and ways to cover under-reported stories on climate change-related issues.
Throughout the course, participants will create and shape a story plan they can use to report on the issues discussed. An online reporting festival featuring the fellows’ published stories will bring an end to the course and allow them to share their reporting with the public.
Technology a greater force than expected at environment reporting workshop in Nepal
The Antenna Foundation Nepal, a local media development organization focused on supporting innovative programs for radio, television, online and social media, organized a virtual environmental reporting workshop from March 8-25 for 34 journalists from 22 districts across Nepal’s seven provinces. Among the participants were 17 women, 18 youths, seven Indigenous journalists and seven who belonged to a marginalized group.
The 40-hour training was aimed at improving reporters’ ability to cover environment and climate issues accurately and compellingly and included topics such as trends in environmental reporting; bringing gender, equity and social inclusion into environmental coverage; and how to report on government policies.
It also offered journalism skills-building sessions on fact-checking, story pitching, multimedia story production and journalism ethics and codes of conduct. A range of experts and senior journalists ran the different sessions over the course of three weeks.
Participants joined in from districts located in many rural areas, and despite the prior assumption that connectivity issues and a lack of digital literacy would pose obstacles, the training revealed that technological diffusion in Nepal is greater than expected and that digital literacy is improving as a result of mobile phone and internet access.
"The training has inspired me to use new technological tools while developing my environment-related reporting stories," said participant Jagatdal Janala BK, a journalist from Surkhet.
Training youth and supporting impactful investigations in Vietnam
The Vietnamese Stature Foundation (VSF) has organized several activities to build awareness among youth about the value of nature and environmental protection. Recently, they brought 12 youths together – the majority of them women – to a visit a fresh produce supply center to learn more about sustainable development and produce news stories about the experience.
Another journalist who participated in a VSF training recently wrote a series of investigative stories about deforestation and illegal logging. After they were published online by Dan Viet news, authorities in Tuyen Quang province launched an investigation to look into allegations of illegal deforestation. Read the story in Vietnamese.
(Banner photo: Equal Access DBI training in Nepal. Credit Equal Access)