Enriching journalistic coverage of climate and development – collaboration with AlertNet
A key objective of the CDKN KM and Communications Strategy is to improve availability of reliable and accessible climate and development knowledge, particularly among developing country decision-makers and those who engage in and influence policy processes at country level. CDKN sees the media as an important player in these processes, and is working to support more informed and in-depth media coverage of climate and development issues, particularly by local journalists working at the country and regional level.
CDKN commissioned Thomson Reuters’ AlertNet service to deliver a series of 18 journalistic articles on climate and development, of which 16 were by journalists from developing countries. These were published on AlertNet Climate daily news website and on the CDKN website. Further dissemination was achieved through the Alertnet climate newsletter (which has a circulation or 900 subscribers), their climate Twitter feed (1000 followers), wider AlertNet Twitter feed (10,000 followers), their AlertNet Facebook page (4000 members), and the Climate-L e-newsletter (28,000 subscribers). Articles were made available free of charge and also promoted to organisations and websites focused on climate issues, including UNDP, the World Bank and a wide range of institutes and aid organisations.
This set of CDKN-sponsored stories attracted a total of 7591 page views in the period to March 2011, an average of 421 views per article. The final report cited 20 cases where stories are known to have been picked up, including in India Times, Times of India, USA Today, Deutsche Welle, the World Resources Report and US National Public Radio.
The final report included quotes from participating journalists, who have commented on how valuable the ongoing relationship with AlertNet has been in developing their skills at understanding and reporting on climate change issues for their own in-country publications:
“I have certainly learnt much since becoming a correspondent for Alertnet Climate. In addition to paying closer attention to detail and making sure I get facts and figures right, I also learned the value of writing about the human element, how climate change affects people on the ground. I realise the importance of making their voices heard.”
–Johann Earle, Guyana
“The editing process by Alertnet Climate staff has assisted me in understanding what was missing from my original stories – how to start my story, capturing voices, how to bring the problems facing local communities. That has assisted me in writing stories for local publications in Kenya.”
–Abjata Khalif, Kenya/Somali border
A second Phase of this project is now underway.
Phase 1: December 2010 – March 2011
Phase 2: November 2011 – July 2012