The Arab World Emerging Journalism Fellowship
Public in the Arab world has limited awareness on climate change and its impacts on the regions because of the lack of nuanced coverage in local media about the issue. This is because a limited number of journalists have the skills, knowledge, and tools necessary for reporting on climate change.
A fellowship that provides training and access to information to emerging journalists will result in more news coverage which will increase news coverage on the issue and, hence, more public awareness.
Climate change is one of most pressing issues the world is facing right now. While a lot is being done to address the problem and find solutions, many people are still unaware of the triviality of the issue. The Arab world produce 30% of the world’s current supply of oil but the majority of its population lack awareness about its correlation to climate change. A major reason for this is the lack of local news coverage about climate issues and its impacts in Arabic or Arab-based media (it is important to note that most of the region is fluent in just Arabic and consume most of their news and information in the language).
There are several reasons for it but some of the main causes include an overall restricted media as well as journalists who lack the skills, resources, and training required to report on climate change issues from a localized perspective.
The Arab World Emerging Journalism Fellowship will offer emerging journalists in the region the training, access to information, and incentive they need to report high quality stories about climate change.
20 emerging journalists will be selected on a criteria that evaluates their passion for reporting and/or climate. The selected journalists will then go through a 2-week intensive training on what climate change is, its localized impacts, and other unaddressed issues around it. They will also learn how to report on climate stories in a language that is accessible to everyone- especially to people who don’t have the scientific knowledge to understand it.
After the training, the journalists will work on and publish 10 stories in local or regional media over the period of six months. The increased coverage will result in more public awareness and, hence, push for policy change.
The training and network provided to each journalist will also have a multiplier effect as they continue to work on stories in their careers in the years to come and also influence other young journalists down the line.
While plenty of really good fellowship programs for journalists exist, none are focused on emerging Arab journalists that report on climate.
Arab countries are speaking Arabic and most of the climate-related programs are in English which is not beneficial for this region. This solution offers an incentive to emerging journalists who often struggle with finding suitable opportunities in the early days of their careers to continue pursuing it.
200 stories (print and multimedia) published in local and regional media within the span of six months that increases public awareness and, hence, push for policy change.
Finding donors and sponsors to fund the first phase of the fellowship as well as a network of climate/regional news editors and publications who are willing to support the training stages of the fellowship.
Funding to launch the first phase of the fellowship which included a two week training for 20 journalists following by a monthly stipend for six months, website launch, and salaries for staff. Access to news publications, editors, and climate change experts (particularly from the region) who are interested in working on providing training support.