Media Training Workshop (CCDA-8 Journalists’ Training)
- 08.27.2019 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
MEDIA TRAINING WORKSHOP
- BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
That Africa suffers effects of climate change is no longer in doubt, with cyclones, floods, mud slides, massive erosions and drought all affecting masses within the continent round the year. Some of these effects of climate change can directly be linked to conflict, displacements, deaths, reduced agricultural activities and disease, all which have direct impact on economies of each nation. As complex as climate change may be, it is not lost on the world that all needs to be communicated.
All agree that Africa is not the biggest emitter of the Green House Gases, yet it suffers some of the worst effects of climate change. These same problems, however, present an endless list of opportunities for local communities, who are the end sufferers of effects of climate change. With proper enlightenment, relevant communities can make the best of the climate crisis. The role journalists play in enlightening the masses on such opportunities cannot be gainsaid.
Journalists are not passive players on matters climate. Media has been key in communicating matters of climate change, from the new good, the bad and ugly. Researchers have used the media to communicate findings and recommendations, shifting opinion and creating opportunity for learning and unlearning. The same media has, on its own volition, covered climate related happenings, from natural disasters, achievements in efforts to mitigate or adopt to climate change crisis as well as local, regional and global events. Media personalities are themselves part of the ecosystem and have hence been directly or indirectly impacted by effects of the climate crisis.
The media has also been useful in advocacy on climate justice. Through their research, governments and institutions have been challenged to act or just wake from slumber. The Fourth Estate has been largely viewed as the only one that can genuinely be relied on for the truth.
The Climate Change and Development Conference (CCDA) is a good opportunity for journalists with interest in climate reporting to meet and question the progress made so far on recommendations made on the previous CCDAs. Where are we on the climate discourse? How have the governments been handling the climate crisis matter in terms of policies formulation and implementation?
Journalists also need to update their knowledge and understanding of new terms, findings and trends in the climate change discourse.
The CCDA journalists’ training session will be relevant in bridging the gap between the technical world of research and findings and the common man who needs the information simplified and easily applicable in their daily lives.
The journalists, from all media platforms; from electronic, print and online media, have a wide network and influence on their readers, listeners and viewers, which can be tapped to further the discourse on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The trainings the journalists get needs to be frequent for them to keep up with the complex and ever advancing climate change matter. The journalists need to be up to date to see how to frame or coin their messages depending on their target audiences. Communication is key, but if the communicators, in this case journalists, are not informed, there will be nothing to communicate or what is communicated will not be useful to the communities and decision makers.
PACJA has championed several initiatives aimed at enhancing capacity since 2013. PACJA has been leading the quality of climate change reporting as well as improving the African Narrative on climate change in Africa:
- Pan African Media Alliance on Climate Change (PAMACC): The Pan African Media Alliance for Climate Change (PAMACC) is an association of African Journalists who report on climate change, environment, sustainable development and related subjects
- African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting Awards (ACCER): These prestigious awards launched by PACJA – attract a wide range of African media to cover climate change issues and rewards outstanding environmental journalists. The Awards not only profile high quality climate change journalism but also engage and reach out to new and upcoming climate change reporters.
- The ACCER Awards Finalists Academy (TAAFA): In partnership with CDKN PACJA has developed this innovative fellowship scheme as a capacity building initiative for ACCER Awards finalists to ensure increased, in-depth and quality reporting and media coverage of environmental and climate change issues with a key focus on Africa.
This one–day training for African journalists just before the CCDA events begin will be key in achieving so many of the goals PACJA aims to achieve in its fight against climate justice.
The Workshop will bring together forty (40) journalists specializing on science, environment or climate, from several African countries. The training will be facilitated by experts from the civil society organisations, journalists, governments, research and members of the AGN. Members of the PACJA baby PAMACC and including ENDENET will also be expected to share experience, challenges and agree on story ideas on reporting on the climate crisis.
The Key objectives of the Workshop are:
- To improve the African journalists’ knowledge and update them on matters arising in the climate change discourse
- To strengthen the journalists’ capacity on climate change with the aim of ensuring the right information is always past to the intended audience
- To help them spread the news on the opportunities in the climate crisis
- To enhance journalists’ understanding on the UNFCCC processes and other dialogue processes
- To reinforce journalists’ skills on simplification of complex issues and jargon for the good and easy understanding and application by the common people, who consume their stories
- Three experts, one from the Civil Society, a researcher on climate issues and member or on of the African governments will present on different topics issued them, followed by questions from participants
- Group discussions on the topics presented by the experts
- Developing story ideas from the discussions
- Identifying and analysing capacity gaps and development of an action plan for filling them, i.e training curriculum for immediate and future media trainings;
- The planned media training should complement other trainings done in the past and should not be a repetition;
- Journalists to share success stories.