Turning the Global Issue of Climate Change into a Local Story


Earth Journalism Network, Durban

More than 170 people gathered for the first Climate Communications Day, organized by Internews amid the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Summit in Durban. And for the fifth year in a row, Internews and its partners sponsored journalism Fellows who reported on the intricate negotiations for their audiences at home. Read more coverage from Durban.

In Durban, a Day to Focus on Climate Coverage

Communicating climate change is an "orphan" issue among policy-makers, according to speakers at Climate Communications Day, the first ever day-long public forum organized by and for journalists at a climate summit. There is general agreement that communications is important, but few governments or multi-lateral institutions seem willing to support it.

Panelists and presenters at the event held on December 1st in Durban, South Africa explored innovative ways to explain the science and challenges of climate change, including the use of religion, films, business and technology. A session on how to use games to explain the complicated subject proved especially popular.

"Covering climate change is an especially challenging task for us as journalists. It's a complex, changing and to some extent unwelcome subject area," said Heather King, a reporter from greenbiz.com. "At Climate Communications Day, we were able to share experiences, stories, new approaches and best practices. It was content-rich and a highly useful networking forum."

Media Partnership Boosts Global Coverage of Climate Change  

Tens of millions of news consumers of 20 media outlets in 15 countries got a much-needed flow of information about climate change in the past two weeks thanks to an innovative project called the Climate Change Media Partnership(CCMP).

Set up by Internews' Earth Journalism NetworkPanos and the International Institute for Environment and Development, the CCMP's main activity is a fellowship program that enables journalists to report on intergovernmental climate-change negotiations.

Since 2007, the CCMP has provided over 170 fellowships to journalists who would otherwise be unable to attend these talks. Last week, the latest group − 19 journalists working in 15 nations − completed their two-week fellowships at the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa.

"It is not easy for us journalists from the Least Developed Countries to make our own way to cover international meetings," says Ramesh Bhushal, a CCMP fellow from Nepal. "The two-week meeting was an amazing opportunity to learn and network with people from around the world."