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FEATURE: Building journalists’ capacity to create change – a CDKN impact story


Much has been written about the importance of good journalism in tackling the global climate challenge. Recently, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) published a report, ‘Why the media matters in a warming world: A guide for policy makers in the global south’, and CDKN Asia’s Fayyaz Ahmad Khan weighed in on the debate in a blog on this website.

Working at the forefront of these issues is the Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP), formed in 2007 by Panos, Internews and IIED to support developing world journalists and ensure that perspectives from the heart of the international climate negotiations win more coverage.  CCMP aims to build the capacity of developing country journalists to produce high quality journalism about climate change issues. They do this by providing fellowships to 40 journalists per year from non-industrialised countries.

CDKN sponsored three of the fellows between 2010 and 2011, as part of our commitment to:

  • Enhance the quality and quantity of journalistic coverage of climate and development issues in developing country media
  • Enhance the capacity of developing country journalists to cover climate and development issues
  • Ensure that developing country voices are heard within global debates

The three journalists sponsored were Maria Clara Valencia (Colombia), Rina Saeed Khan (Pakistan) and Winifred Onyimbo (Kenya).  Each journalist reported from the UNFCCC summit in Cancun and received some good coverage, both internationally and in their home countries. The AlertNet Climate site showcased some of the stories, and the UNFCCC Press and Communications Manager, John Hays praised the quality of their output.

Rina Saeed Khan built on her experience in Cancun with a regular column in Dawn, one of Pakistan’s most prominent online news sources, and an internship with the Guardian newspaper in London. Her stories have featured in theGuardian, the Dawn group, The Friday Times (Pakistan) and AlertNet, among others.  For a full run-down of Rina’s stories, click here.

Maria Clara Valencia published an article about the Cancun summit in Revista Diners, a Colombian magazine, and also featured stories in El Espectador, the oldest newspaper in Colombia, with 1.85 million readers and AlertNet.  Herarticle on designing housing to fight climate change in Colombia was featured in elmundo.es, the online version of Spain’s second largest daily newspaper. See Maria’s full output here.

Winifred Onyimbo’s work appeared in The Standard Newspaper, one of the leading newspapers in Kenya, NTV Kenya, which has more than four million viewers daily, and on the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.  Her radio feature ‘Saving for a dry day’ was aired on Trans World Radio Kenya. Read about Winnie’s success here.

CDKN is pleased with the impact of this project and look forward to hearing more from these rising media players, both within their own countries and internationally.  We will continue to support excellence in climate change reporting in developing countries.

Photo: Secretary-General Shown “Chiapas Eco Bus” in Cancun, Mexico, courtesy United Nations Photos

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