Climate change is an issue that will cut across most subjects tackled by newsrooms – from business to politics, sport and leisure, social pressures and migration. But not everyone or every organisation is at the same level of proficiency when it comes to understanding the issues or delivering engaging content.
WAN-IFRA has been working with newsrooms in Asia to think about the climate stories they tell, how they tell them, as part of the Temasek Foundation: WAN-IFRA Journalism Programme, Challenge of the Climate Crisis. The programme will culminate in a Global eSummit on Journalism and Climate Change on 22 and 23 February 2022.
Key takeaways from the training have been distilled into a concise reporting guide (REQUEST YOURS HERE) designed to get you thinking about:
- Your role and responsibility in telling the climate change story
- Understanding foundation science and where to source it
- Language, context and measurement
- Newsroom organisation
- How you tell the story.
Warren Fernandez, Editor in Chief of the Straits Times and President of the World Editors Forum, said climate change is the story of our generation, both for audiences and journalists, all around the world. This is why the World Editors Forum was helping to build the capacity of newsrooms.
“It is a complex and compelling story that affects all aspects of our lives, from the environment and economy, the science behind it, to the impact on societies and ways of life, arising from changes to our environment caused by global warming, both now and in the future,” said Fernandez.
“The challenge for newsrooms is to tell this story well, going beyond the news of extreme weather events, to helping our communities figure out the way forward. This will call for a deep understanding of the trade-offs and challenges we will inevitably face ahead, as business as usual will not get the job done.
“Telling this story in words, graphics, data projects, visuals and videos will require honing new skills from our newsrooms, which will also need to bone up on the science that underpins the issue, so as to present information in an authoritative and engaging way.
“Doing so is doubly important if we are to counter the welter of fake news and misinformation, from not just climate change skeptics, but also vested interests seeking to block any hope of progress.
“And in the end, we also need to give hope, and inspire people to believe in the possibility of progress, that the world can come together to tackle this challenge, huge and daunting as it might be. Our newsrooms can and must play our part in this grave, even existential crisis, of our times.”