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NEWS: African reporting fellowships available

The Pan African Media Alliance for Climate Change (PAMACC) encourages East African journalists to apply for fellowship opportunities to report on the social and political implications of delivering weather and climate services in East Africa.

Media organisations have a key role to play in disseminating knowledge and information on climate change, in particular ensuring that accurate weather and climate information reaches the end user. Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) is a project led by the UK Met Office that aims to deliver transformational change in the quality, accessibility and use of weather and climate information services at all levels of decision making for sustainable development in Africa. WISER, Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) and BBC Media Action are supporting East African journalists to produce stories focused on delivering weather and climate services in the region.

To apply

To apply for the fellowship, kindly provide the following information:

  • A covering letter describing the applicant’s work history – 300 words max
  • Four published stories
  • A pitch for a story that fulfils the criteria below

Applications should be send to Protus Onyango, PAMACC East Africa Co-ordinator: pnabongo2002@yahoo.com by 8 March 2019.

Story criteria

Stories should broadly focus on the topic of delivering weather and climate services in East Africa, fulfilling one of the following topics:

  1. A weather or climate service which has contributed positively to lives and livelihoods by helping communities or decision makers deal with extreme weather events (such as storms, flood and droughts).
  2. A national meteorological agency (potentially in partnership with civil society or the private sector) is delivering a new or novel weather or climate service that is improving (or may improve) the lives of recipients.
  3. Better information on climate change that can support better policy or planning decisions or poverty alleviation efforts.
  4. A new technology that has been tested or commercialised to provide a weather or climate service.
  5. There is a strong preference for deep reporting on WISER projects, but it is expected that journalists use their discretion in deciding what the most important weather and climate service-related stories in their country (or region) that fit the above briefs.

Applicant criteria

  • Eligible candidates will be based in, and hold passports for, one of the following countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia Tanzania and Uganda.
  • Successful candidates will have at least five years reporting experience. A background in climate change reporting is not a prerequisite; we encourage journalist with a background in environmental, political, business, or science and technology reporting to apply. A strong track record in original coverage of development stories in East Africa will be seen as a positive.

Winning journalists will be paid fees for covering the stories, travel and production expenses. Different types of media are encouraged, including print, radio, television and online publications.

Knowledge exchange and learning

As part of the WISER-PAMACC fellowships, WISER in partnership with the Future Climate for Africa Programme and BBC Media Action, will host knowledge exchange events between journalists, meteorologists and climate change experts.

These are open to all PAMACC members to participate in as far as possible. These events will give an opportunity for African meteorologists and climate change experts to share the latest advances in the field, key messages from the latest weather and climate science, and good practice recommendations for communicating climate science.

The events will also give journalists an opportunity to inform meteorologists and climate scientists on issues driving local, national and regional news coverage and how meteorologists and scientists may improve their own skills for engaging with journalists and news media and the relevance of their work to news media. Lastly the knowledge exchange events will serve as a marketplace where journalists and experts can network and build relationships.

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