November 2019 – April 2022
The media striving to deal with the climate emergency
The climate emergency will be a global issue in the coming decades. As such, it is crucial to raise awareness among African journalists and media managers as to the importance of including environmental subjects in their editorial line, to alert and inform the general public on these questions.
November 2019 – April 2022
For over two years, Dunia (meaning “the world” in Kiswahili) has supported 14 media outlets (TV, radio, press and web) and five freelance journalists from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. The initiatives put forward aim to improve their coverage of climate change, with the inclusion of the preoccupations and perspectives of adaptation for local people directly impacted by its effects.
In 2021, the participating media outlets and journalists granted more space to climate change in their editorial line. RFI’s Kiswahili-speaking newsroom in particular entrusted the hosting of a weekly programme on the environment to one of the journalists.
Three simultaneous training courses in investigative journalism were launched in April, in the three countries involved in the project. The journalists were trained to use valuable technical tools, such as satellite imagery, to monitor deforestation phenomena and the water levels of lakes and rivers. Further to these training courses, they produced some 20 reports alerting to the consequences of climate change, with support in the form of mentoring and funding granted by CFI.
“I found out all about the methods of online investigation, it was a revelation! Most of us weren’t all that familiar with online tools like satellite imagery. This training course was an opportunity to acquire new skills to be used on a daily basis by journalists specialising in environment issues.”
An Ethiopian journalist who attended the course
While women often play an important role in fostering resilience and encouraging adaptation in communities facing the effects of climate change, journalists covering these subjects rarely give them the same chances to speak up as men. To remedy this imbalance, two training courses were held in Kenya and Uganda to integrate gender into all production stages, from the newsroom meeting through to interviewing women unaccustomed to speaking in public.
Two field visits were organised in Kenya to find out about adaptation strategies implemented by impacted communities, via CSO projects managed by women. Since visiting reforestation project sites in Kiambu and agricultural projects in Kajiado, the beneficiary media outlets have published or broadcast several reports.