This great opportunity … helped me to learn and interact with not just government leaders and experts but also with fellow journalists from across the world.
– Richa Pinto, Mumbai
Applications for this program are now closed.
ICFJ’s Global Climate Reporting Program brought 16 international journalists to San Francisco on September 10-15 to participate in the 2018 2018 Global Climate Action Summit . The program aimed to increase coverage of the potential impacts of extreme weather and climate-related effects on society by improving journalists’ knowledge and capacity.
The journalists produced more than 50 stories on topics that included rising sea levels, responses to drought, plastic bag bans to stem pollution, and the climate agreements reached by municipal, state and business leaders during the summit. The top three submissions were selected by a panel of judges to receive prizes of $1,000 each.
The story challenge winners:
- Yolandi Groenewald of South Africa for "Where are Cape Town's Climate Funds, Asks De Lille," which connects a local drought to international funding policies. The story explains the obstacles faced by Cape Town in its efforts to access funds intended to abate climate crises.
- Debora Brito of Brazil for "Indigenous People Affected by Climate Change Want Prevention Policies," an in-depth piece about issues faced by indigenous communities and their role in pressing those issues at the summit.
- Karl Mathiesen of Australia for "Let Down by Trump on Climate, China Goes Around Him in California," a story about the large delegation China sent to the summit and its outreach to California to pursue climate goals reached with the Obama administration by rejected by Donald Trump's.
Participants came from 13 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Ghana, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa and the United States. They learned from global experts about how climate and environmental conditions affect human health and safety and natural ecosystems.
The journalists also had access to the full conference as well as breakout sessions with experts and a workshop with experienced climate journalists.
Among other highlights
- Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, briefed the journalists on climate challenges and solutions.
- Dr. Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization, discussed the links between pollution and a range of health problems.
- Award-winning journalist and trainer Mark Schapiro led a discussion on coverage of environmental issues such as drought-resistant seeds, the topic of his new book “Seeds of Resistance.”
About the Program
Participants traveled to San Francisco in September to attend the summit, with the support of the United Nations Foundation. Journalists participated in the summit and covered stories around climate and sustainability issues. Ahead of the program, ICFJ organized a virtual orientation to prepare participants to cover the conference and to help develop their story ideas. Participants learned data and storytelling strategies to improve their coverage of critical climate-related issues and their effects on communities.