Joudy Alasmar, a Lebanese journalist, won the first award during a closing ceremony in Tunis on 30 November 2022 for her investigation on the landfill in Tripoli.
Her work is part of a five-year collaboration between ARTICLE 19 MENA (Middle East and North Africa), the Institute of Press and Information Sciences (IPSI) at La Manouba University and JMIC on “Support the right to information and investigative journalism in the MENA region.” The edition of 2022 focused on environmental issues.
The award ceremony was organized in hybrid format with the presence of trainee journalists, trainers and coaches, and other guests. The trainee journalists presented their experiences in this program and highlighted the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned.
As part of the ceremony, a discussion was held about investigative journalism and environmental issues in the MENA region.
This discussion was conducted between journalists, including investigative journalists and journalists specialized on environmental issues, experts on access to information, and environmental activists who took part in this discussion to debate challenges, the accessibility of environmental information within the laws on access to information in the MENA region, and the importance of environmental journalism.
The Department of Communication & Digital Media at An-Najah National University organized a closing ceremony for the workshops carried out at the university campus on Wednesday 30th November 2022.
At the ceremony, certificates were given to the 69 students participating in the workshops, and prizes were also given to the students who made remarkable journalism works.
The workshops dealt with three topics: the first was entitled “The Flow of Global News Stream on Social Media concerning Environmental and Climate Issues“. The second workshop was regarding “The Investigative Reporting on Corruption“, while the third workshop dealt with the issue of “Access to Information“.
Students from An-Najah National, Arab American, Hebron, and Palestine Technical (Kadoorie) universities have participated in the third workshop, where the competing students prepared media materials in the field of access to information including press reports, videos, and posters.
Regarding the “investigative reporting on corruption” competition, the students produced a set of journalistic investigations that dealt with corruption issues, used research tools to collect data, analyzed and discussed them, and put forward possible solutions to those issues.
A set of works produced by students, short films and posters in particular, were presented.
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Farid Abudheir, Coordinator of Joint Projects with JMIC at Oslo Metropolitan University, Dr. Hussam Abu Diya, Dr. Abdeljawad Abdeljawad, Mr. Ayman Al-Masri, Dr. Islam Halayka, Dr. Said Shahin, Head of the Department of Media at Hebron University, and Ms. Ramz Bsharat from the Arab American University.
Dr. Farid Abudheir has praised the participation of the Palestinian universities in the “Access to Information” workshop. He also stressed the importance of the three topics addressed by the workshops, especially in raising awareness of the issues of access to information, corruption issues, and environmental and climate issues. Besides, he considered that these workshops were aimed at spreading awareness of these issues and enhancing the student’s abilities to address them using media tools.
Not to mention, Dr. Abudheir thanked An-Najah National University including its administration and departments that helped in making these workshops a success. He also thanked JMIC at OsloMet, which supported the projects implemented by the Department of Communication and Digital Media at An-Najah National University. The meeting was concluded by taking group photos of the participants.
This “Conference of the parties” (COP) will gather important political leaders, experts, bureaucrats, civil society representatives – young ones also – and media people. https://cop27.eg/#/
The American University in Cairo (AUC) established a Climate Change Initiative in response to the global climate change challenges and the active role academic and research institutions should play in addressing them.
This initiative is university wide and includes research, teaching, student activities and public outreach. The areas of focus are aligned national and regional climate change and sustainability priorities. Areas of research and outreach include water scarcity, urban development, green finance, public health, energy transition and climate crisis communication. https://www.aucegypt.edu/climate-change
The 4 Cairo Media Conference took place 23 – 24 October 2022 under the headline Communicating Climate Change: Is the Climate Crisis also a Communication Crisis?
More than 200 participants came for the conference, also from other universities and from different parts of the country. Two days were packed with a very relevant program, many inspiring speakers and an engaged and active audience. Many prominent Egyptian media personalities shared their ideas.
To tell about the climate crisis in their countries, guests were also coming from as far as Bangladesh and Pakistan, but also from the region – Kurdistan in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia: Mofizur Rhaman, Syed M. Saqib, Awaz Abdalla, Bissan Tay, Tarek Saed and Hanene Zbiss.
Special guests from Norway were Arne Jensen from the Association of Norwegian Editors, Hildegunn Soldal from the Norwegian Broadcasting Coroporation and the freelance journalist Tarjei Leer-Salvesen, who is an expert in access to information regarding environmental issues. Elisabeth Eide and Risto Kunelius from the MediaClimate network contributed digitally.
According to the organizers is the main goal of the conference to plant a seed of knowledge amongst media people; professionals, faculty members and students; on the importance of giving media coverage and understanding to such a vital issue in order to reach out.
Dr. Naila Hamdy, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo in Egypt delivered an inspiring closing speech for the conference. Some of her valuable closing remarks include:
– The need for an access to information law should be revived.
– The narrative of the ordinary person was highlighted by most of the conferences’ speakers. Storytelling should resonate with the public.
– Fact checking came up as an important part of what journalists and educators should emphasize.
– Resources and toolkits on a global exist and should be used to tell a climate change story.
– Training and education for academics, journalists and the future journalists was highly stressed in the conference.
– Global justice while reporting about the climate crisis was a very important takeout.
– Addressing the scientific community to collect information about climate change is crucial. But also training them to give their messages in understandable manner is important.
– Providing hope is essential when you communicate the crisis and its consequences.
– There is a need to act and embed climate change in the academic curriculums.
– The connection between gender inequalities and climate change is not to be dismissed.
Veteran Norwegian scholar & writer Professor Elisabeth Eide has delivered a special lecture to the class of Master of Social Science students enrolled for climate and environment journalism at the Department of Mass Communication & Journalism of the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The lecture was held on online platform Zoom on Thursday 18th August, 2022.
Dr. Eide shared her experiences of working as an advocate of climate justice in different region of the world including South Asia and Bangladesh. She focused on climate crisis & possible journalistic interventions with a broad spectrum from gender to political issues. Eide explained how climate journalism should be different from traditional event-based journalism and suggested to focus on finding the root causes of the crisis.
Dr. Eide suggested the future journalists to work as an educator and should practice solution oriented journalism in the climate change field. She recommended youth activists to raise their voice in order to solve threatening environmental & climate issues as the younger generation are the most vulnerable one.
One of the lecture participants Mukul Morshed said, ‘I think the recent devastating floods the country has witnessed was relevant to the discussion. What I liked most about the lecture is the fact how journalism was annexed with science particularly climate science to put some light on the issue.’
‘The aspect of the lecture that interested me the most was the gender aspect of the climate crisis. I never thought how worldwide it is men who are more responsible for creating the crisis and the women bear the brunt more than men,’ said Ashfaq-Ul-Alam Niloy.
Atiqur Rahman said he liked Eide’s bottom-up approach to the crisis as journalistic intervention. He said, ‘I doubt how much benefits will come by the initiatives taken by developed countries. Steps should be firmly taken by developing countries as well’.
Another student Safaet Hossain said, ‘the lecture was so engaging and enlightening that made me understand my role & responsibilities as a citizen in the fight against climate crisis.’
Dr. Elisabeth Eide is a Professor of journalism studies at Oslo Metropolitan University and former Director of Journalism & Media International Center (JMIC). She is also author & editor of a substantial number of books, chapters and scientific journal articles relating to climate change journalism and media studies. She is also a novelist.
Dr. Mofizur Rhaman, course teacher of Climate & Environment Journalism and former chairperson of Department of Mass Communication & Journalism of the University of Dhaka moderated the zoom session.
The class includes Fahima Mahjabin, Sultana Razia Hoque, Abdul Malek, Tasnova Arefin, Muntasir Jihad, Mizanur Rahman, Tamara Yeasmin, Atiqur Rahman, Jihadul islam, Nurruzzaman, Jahid Hasan, Farzib Mahmud, Umme Kulsum, Rafia Tamanna, Aliur Rahman, Mukti Rashid Khan, Mukul Murshed, Monowar Hossain, Nadia Akter and Foyz Ahmed.
The Faculty of Humanities, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), in collaboration with JMIC, hosted a one-day workshop on Climate Journalism Education 1st June 2022.
The workshop was attended by academicians, postgraduate students and journalists joining in from all over Pakistan and abroad.
It discussed ways of teaching climate journalism and helped provide ideas for training journalism students through the collective effort of academicians and journalists who have worked in the field and are aware of the climate crisis.
Dr. Altaf Ullah Khan, Dean of Humanities at FCCU, inaugurated the workshop and gave a keynote speech in which he stated, “If we, as academicians, have a good understanding of climate crisis, only then we will be able to train our students in the best possible way on its journalistic perspective as well. Since climate change is both our present and our future.”
The workshop was moderated by Rachel Hasan, Chairperson Department of Mass Communication. Dr Elisabeth Eide, Co-Director Media Climate Network and Professor of Journalism from OsloMet, gave a brief introduction of the workshop and gave the floor to Dr Derk Bakker, Associate Professor and Chairperson of Department of Environmental Sciences, FCCU. He highlighted the impacts and solutions for climate change.
Dr Elisabeth Eide later built up on his speech and shared why climate change is a concern for journalists and journalism students. She shared the models for education on climate journalism and stated: “It is crucial to combine studies with field visits for students as well and help them learn from local experts and indigenous people.”
Moreover, Hannah Bernstein, science journalist and project manager at Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, along with Syed Abubakar, Environment journalist and media trainer, and Syed M. Saqib, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication, FCCU, further discussed ways to train students to cover climate stories and what can be included in the courses to enhance future journalists’ capacity to report on climate. They were of the view that it is high time, climate journalism was integrated into the curriculum for journalism students in Pakistan.
Finally, Muhammad Daud Khan and Stella Paul, the two famous climate journalists working in the field and setting a precedent for others to follow, joined the workshop and shared that: “As journalists, we are storytellers and are also the mediators between people at the frontline of climate crisis and masses. So, we have to be the ones to tell the missing stories to the world.”
The workshop was concluded with some final remarks by Dr Elisabeth Eide and Oona Solberg. Dr Douglas Trimble, Vice-Rector, FCCU, was also present at the occasion and gave his concluding speech. After that, certificates were distributed among the participants.
Overall, the training was informative and valuable for participants and encouraged them to become change makers within their institutions and support the efforts to introduce climate journalism education courses for journalism students in Pakistan.
“What does two degrees Celsius actually mean to people? Information and debate are dominated by national governments, large enterprises, scientists, and academia. Our community’s experience has been ignored; and left out of the search for solutions.”
My Climate Change Story is a project initiated by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to collect climate change vignettes from the people experiencing climate change first-hand and working together to protect the environment to make a difference. Submissions will be uploaded to My Climate Change YouTube Channel to begin a global discussion.
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2022, a virtual event to discuss the democratization of climate information is organized with support from JMIC. In the first part of the webinar, two small videos will be presented. It will be followed by a panel of experts who will speak to the UNESCO theme and climate journalists.
Sasha Chavkin, of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Columbia Journalism Review, has reported “Many of the countries that have seen the most violence against environmental defenders in recent years also rank near the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index.” Journalists must feel confident and safe to report their stories for the greater public good.”
The project was called Global news stream on social media, and a total of 140 students from Independent University Bangladesh, Universidad de Costa Rica, Nepal Open University, OsloMet (Norway), An-Najah National University (Palestine), Université de la Manouba (Tunisia) and Makerere University (Uganda) participated.
All the news stories dealt with climate and environmental problems in the respective countries, and they had to be grouped into one of the following sub-categories:
Water (water/wastewater/flooding/hydropower/fishing practices/melting glaciers)
Waste and pollution (mining/coal run-off/industrialization/air pollution/trash/waste management/recycling)
Into the future (urban living/public health/migration/clean energy/recycling)
On Tuesday October 26th, the easternmost universities started to publish their stories on the project’s Facebook page. The rest of the students joined the publishing when the sun rose in their countries.
The students were encouraged to present their news stories in social media-friendly formats, and a lot of them experimented with both videos, infographics, and photographs.
A total of 83 news stories were published, and they can be found on this Facebook-page (will open in a new window).
By joining the project, the students learned a lot about the climate crisis, a topic that will dominate the news in many years to come. As one Tunisian student pointed out, this project allowed her to think about the real threat that the world is facing. The students liked that the project was global and having an international audience. The global aspect helped them to expand their environmental understanding and how these issues can be incorporated in news stories.
The participants said that they gained important insight on how both their own and other countries are dealing with the ongoing climate changes, and that they found it inspiring to see how aspiring journalists from other countries write and present their news. “Since all posts were posted simultaneously and from the same account, it really felt as a collaborative project between different universities around the world” – as a student from Costa Rica wrote.
The students made useful international contacts, and hopefully, some of their paths will cross again in the future.
The head coordinator of the project was Mathias Falch from OsloMet. He was joined by OsloMet-colleagues Elsebeth Frey, who initiated the project, and Ashley Riddell, as well as local coordinators Any Pérez (Costa Rica), Arwa Kooli (Tunisia), Charlotte Ntulume (Uganda), Samiksha Koirala (Nepal), Farid Abudheir (Palestine) and Zakir Hossain Raju (Bangladesh).
The conference ”Improving climate journalism, engaging the youth” was held online from OsloMet 8 – 9 October. The research group Media, Environment and Society at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies hosted the two day international web based conference on how to engage young people by improving the practices of climate journalism.
In co-operation with the NGO Datamation Foundation and the MediaClimate network, JMIC/OsloMet held a three day workshop in Delhi planning for transnational co-operation in education and research on climate journalism. Participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK and Uganda were present, several more via skype, al recognizing that climate change is one of the world’s major challenges.
The future aim is to create a digital resource bank sharing research articles/initiatives, educational resources and important journalistic work within the field of climate change.
Mofizur Rhaman, a member of the MediaClimate network, and co-editor of the anthology “Negotiating Journalism: Core Values and Cultural Diversitiet”, defended his doctoral thesis “Climate Change Journalism in Bangladesh: Professional Norms and Attention in Newspaper Coverage of Climate Change” at the University of Bergen 26.10, as a part of the cross-disciplinary Climate Crossroads project.