Internews and the Earth Journalism Network have been hard at work! With the UNFCCC and Climate Communications Day just months away, we’re busy getting all of the logistics and details in place, carefully selecting fellows to attend the summit, and arranging thought provoking plenaries and breakout sessions.
Climate Communications Day
Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) will host the 2nd Climate Communications Day at this year’s UNFCCC Climate Change Summit in Doha, Qatar. This year we will specifically examine how the wealth of environmental and scientific data available can best be harnessed to explain the issues surrounding climate change.
The day-long forum, an official side event of the UNFCC, will bring together journalists, bloggers, press officers, academics, scientists, IT professionals and other communications experts. Climate Communications Day focuses on exchanging insights, lessons learned and innovative approaches to spread news and information about climate change accurately and effectively.
New approaches to communicating climate change
Complex science and uncertain outcomes make climate change a difficult topic to communicate. In addition, communication regarding climate change can be negative - evoking doom and gloom scenarios – or too technical to be considered interesting by broader audiences. But climate change is likely to be the most important story of the century. So how do we reach these audiences? What are other ways we can communicate our messages so that they will be received by other people?
We’re so excited to discuss these topics and more over the course of Climate Communications Day. Stay tuned for more updates to come – we’ll be releasing the official Climate Communications Day schedule with detailed information on plenaries and breakout sessions. From there, you’ll have a better understanding of the important work you are funding.
We are nearly finished selecting the finalists who will attend as fellows to Climate Communications Day. Check back in for profiles, information, and stories from the journalists you are supporting.
Once again, we would like to thank our Global Giving donors for your support. The importance of local media, especially in regards to climate issues, cannot be understated. In reporting back to their home country about big, international events like COP18, journalists are able to tell readers the information that is most relevant to them.
You are making all the difference to our journalist fellows, who rely on your support to attend this event. We are grateful for all the ways you support our cause.
The Earth Journalism Network supports journalists covering the environment in countries all over the world…explore the Earth Journalism Network and discover the many ways Internews supports open media worldwide.
Want to get involved in a whole new way, and have the opportunity to meet the journalists you support in person? If you’d like participate in our event, you can follow this link and register for Climate Communications Day in Doha, Qatar!
As 2011 came to an end, Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (ENDK), or “News You Can Use,” celebrated the release of its 500th episode. In the two years following the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010, ENDK has become an essential source of news for listeners throughout the country. The radio program, produced by Haitians and for Haitians, continues to provide the population with basic information about health and hygiene, post-crisis reconstruction, development and civic education. Radio, one of the most important sources of information for Haitians, has played an essential role in supporting the population through the difficult and painful process of reconstruction, providing individuals with the information they need to make informed decisions for their well-being. When asked in a focus group discussion in the provinces about what they had learned from ENDK, one Haitian responded, “you can protect yourself from cholera by following all the hygiene rules such as: not drinking water that is not treated…not eating food that is not fully cooked.” Listeners of the program are able to share information they learn with others, spreading important information throughout their communities.
The impact of the radio program has been profound in shaping the humanitarian response and engaging the local population. Throughout our work in Haiti, Internews has continued to work with local journalists to build their capacity and ensure the sustainability of programs like ENDK. Journalists like Karl Foster Candio, one of the early editors-in-chief of ENDK, have gained significant recognition for their skills and have gone on to work for other national news outlets, spreading their knowledge and skill to national news outlets in desperate need of skilled reporters. This has been our goal from the beginning of the project and we are continuing to support the Haitian media through training and capacity building. Internews has engaged short term consultants to actively build the capacity of local media outlets in Haiti, and the Senior Resident Journalism Advisor, continues to help our partner radio stations to develop useful programming for their listeners. This past January Radio Boukman and Vision 2000 independently produced their first ENDK-like reports. We are extremely hopeful and excited about the progress that community radio stations are making and their growing independence in the Haitian media.
Thanks to your generous support, we were able to help Haitian people spread vital information throughout their own communities during a time of great crisis. Our work would not have been possible without your contributions.
A celebration is happening in Deir al Balah, Gaza. A very special radio station, the first of its kind in the Middle East, is celebrating its sixth anniversary. Fursan al Erada was created in 2006 as a voice for people with disabilities, run by reporters with disabilities. Funded by a coalition of organizations that work with disabled people in the Gaza Strip, the radio station was created to address ignorance and negative stereotypes about disabilities. It began broadcasting on December 6th, 2005, International Day for People with Special Needs. “We are celebrating a radio station that is concerned about people with special needs, and now these same people are making the day for all the people [in the community]. All the activities, songs, dancing, and more are presented by the staff and people with special needs,” said Mahmoud Mussallami, Manager of Fursan Al Erada radio station.
The radio station has set a goal to educate the larger community, while also addressing their target audience with special programming dealing with issues that face the disabled in Palestine. The station’s media strategy aims to change the attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities, while also assisting them in preparing to become leaders in their communities.
In general the public pays little attention to the problems of people with disabilities, and often sees them as dependent, non-productive people that in the past were often hidden away from society. Although there is a law that deals with access and employment for disabled people in Palestine, it is not enforced; there are no curb cuts for wheelchairs, no easy access to public buildings, no public transportation equipped to deal with disabilities, and no audio traffic signals to alert the blind, to name a few.
As of January 2011, there were 38,000 people with disabilities living in Gaza. Of those, 47.5% have mobility impairments, and this number increases yearly because of the on-going conflicts in Gaza. The second largest group is the hearing disabled, followed by vision, then learning disabilities as recorded by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The same study also highlighted the problems faced within society, noting, “…22.2% dropped out of school and 8.7% usually avoid performing any activities because of others’ attitudes towards them.” (PCBS and Ministry of Social Affairs, Disability Survey 2011.
From the outset, the station believed that it was very important to shed a light on people with disabilities and the issues and challenges they faced, as well as addressing the negative attitudes of society. This is why the radio station was established. And, so far, they are making a difference in the lives of their audience and those with disabilities by setting an example in their programming and through the achievements and reports of their staff.
The main achievements, as highlighted by the station manager, underscore the importance of the station and its growing sustainability. In the last six years, the station has:
-Produced 50 program cycles focusing on people with disabilities.
-Covered stories and broadcast throughout the Gaza Strip (during the last three years)
-Covered all activities for people with disabilities in Gaza.
-Hosted civil society representatives in the radio programs.
He also explained that thanks to Internews trainings, Fursan Al Erada also prepared an organizational chart for the radio station, developed job descriptions for every employee and used strategic planning skills in preparing for the sixth anniversary events and coverage as part of the outreach and growth of the station.
“Fursan Al Erada has managed to reach all areas in the Gaza Strip with its programming and in the future, we aim to reach all areas of Palestine. We are covering all activities of people with special needs in Gaza Strip. We have managed to reach a point where NGOs approach us to let us talk about their activities,” said Osama Abu Safar, Head of Media Relations and Communications. Osama, like the majority of the staff, is a person with a disability; they are presenters, reporters, editors, program directors, and administrative personnel.
Thanks to your generous contributions the station was able to purchase new field recorder equipment, and these journalists are now able to expand their coverage of stories from the field, getting them closer to their ultimate goal and vision.