In 2020 to 2021 the IGMN board designed the webinar series on "Reporting on the Climate Crisis: How to tell the Story with Urgency, Innovation and Creativity". It was a sequence of five webinar sessions focusing on the climate crisis with experts from different countries. The webinar's objectives was to enable media professionals as well as those interested in the subject to take on a critical approach to climate stories and to provide them with practical skills, that allow them to maximize their impact when reporting on this subject. The webinar series was supported by the International Alumni Center (iac) and took place within the Bosch Alumni Network.
Climate Crisis and Collaboration
With our first webinar on "Climate Crisis & Collaboration: How to connect, cooperate and collaborate" we discussed different ways to cooperate while reporting on the climate crisis. We talked about collaborative journalism between global south and global north to help explaining the climate crisis as a global problem. Our speaker presented collaborations that already exist. As well we How can stories be told in a collaborative, global way? The reporting also needs to be human- and solution-oriented in order to not cause apathy. How to avoid falling into repetitive narratives?
Our speaker were Abhaya Raj Joshi, a journalist based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He covers issues related to water, climate change and wildlife. His work has been published on websites such as thethirdpole.net, mongabay.com, theopennotebook.com and onlinekhabar.com. Our second speaker was Mark Hertsgaard. He is an author and California based journalist who has reported on climate change since 1990 from 25 countries for leading news outlets including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Time, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Guardian, L'espresso, Le Monde Diplomatique, Newsweek Japan, NPR, the BBC, and The Nation, where he is the environment correspondent. His books include Earth Odyssey: Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future and HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. He is the co-founder and executive director of Covering Climate Now, a global consortium of 400-plus news outlets committed to more and better coverage of the defining story of our time.
The webinar was moderated by our member Chaitanya Marpakwar, journalist with the Times of India.
Covering Climate Migration
Our second workshop was titled "The Big Escape: Covering Climate Migration". The impact of global warming on migration is often being discussed at as a future scenario, and a scary one as well. In the seminar we took a closer look on: What do we actually know about the correlation of migration and climate change so far? What is the difference between a migrant and a refugee in that context? How does media coverage affect the perception of either and what are the crucial questions for journalists to ask?
Ingrid Boas from the Netherland was one of our speakers. She is an associate professor at the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University, and currently a fellow with the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute. Since 2007 Ingrid works on the subject of climate change and human mobility, studied from the angles of governance, discourse and human geography. She serves as an expert for the EU, the Dutch Government, the UN and for several NGOs. Boas will present some of her research, aiming to show how the relations between environmental change and human mobility are often quite different than we expect. Our second speaker was Jaideep Hardikar (on twitter @journohardy) from India. He is a Nagpur-based independent journalist, researcher and writer. In his work he focuses on life and distress outside India's urban centers, covering the effects of environmental change on agriculture, economy and society, amongst others. He has worked the Central India correspondent for The Telegraph, published with media such as BBC/Sout Asia, Livemint, The Wire and been awarded several awards and fellowships. Jaideep Hardikar also is a core team member with the People's Archive of Rural India (PARI), of which he will talk about in the seminar, highlighting overlooked factors regarding migration in the context of climate change in rural India.
The webinar was moderated by our member Sukhada Tatke, an independent journalist from Mumbai, currently based in Edinburgh.
Climate Change and Health
With our third webinar "Sick world – Climate Change and Health" we investigated the linkages between global warming and health, another overlooked but crucial aspect of climate-health-reporting.
We had two speakers. Fabeha Monir is a Dhaka-based visual journalist and storyteller with a humanistic approach. Her editorial clients include The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, BBC, Stern, Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung and various NGOs such as Oxfam, Water Aid and the UN. Also, she regularly reports as Bangladesh Correspondent for Bistandsaktuelt Daily News in Norway on aid and development. In 2016 Monir has worked closely with refugee communities during the influx in Greece. Since 2017 she has been covering Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. With her work, she tells people-focused stories on social development, gender violence, and marginalized communities – those most venerable to health issues. Monir is a member of Women Photograph and fluent in Bangla, Hindi, Urdu as well as English. Martina Merten is a global health specialist and healthcare journalist focusing on developing and emerging nations since 2004. She also teaches global health studies (including climate change related challenges for health systems) at various German and international universities and works as an international health consultant for GIZ, ADB and other companies/organizations. From 2005-2009 she joined the German Medical Journal as an editor for social and health policy. Up to now, she publishes articles for THE LANCET, the British Medical Journal, the German Medical Journal, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, DER SPIEGEL and others. Most of her journalistic work abroad was enabled through national/international reporting grants.
The webinar was moderated by our member Natalie Mayroth, Journalist with focus on South Asia based in India and Germany.
New Technologies and Reporting on the Climate Crisis
Our fourth seminar focused on "New Technologies to tell Climate Stories". Climate crisis and technology are two beasts our increasingly vulnerable world is wrestling with right now. Is it possible to make sense of one beast by taming the other? In this online session, our experts will try to tackle a few of these questions – drones, Sensors, AR/VR, data journalism – what technologies are emerging and helping to report on climate change more scientifically? Where does technology really contribute to the story? Where to draw the line between over-reliance on technology?
Our speaker was Angel Hsu (on twitter @ecoangelhsu), an assistant professor of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College. She is founder and principal investigator of the Data-Driven Lab. She developed corporate greenhouse gas accounting and reporting initiatives in developing countries, including China.
The webinar was moderated by our member Prathap Nair, features writer, freelance journalist and photographer based in Germany.
With our last webinar we focused on "Fact-checking when doing Climate Stories". Climate change-related stories are packed with data, science, reports which have a way to be interpreted incorrectly. It is imperative to ensure the science you are referring to while writing stories is free of false conclusions. How to ensure that? What are the right tools?
We had two speakers to give answers and discuss these issues. Sara Schonhardt writes for E&E News, Earth Journalism Network and other publications. She shared advice on what to look for in scientific research to ensure it's accountable. Aditi Tandon (on twitter @ByAditiTandon) is production editor with Mongabay-India and fact-checking trainer with the Google News Initiative Training Network in India. She talked on fact-checking in climate stories.
The webinar was moderated by our member Namrata Acharya, freelance journalist.