Fellowship and Award
Climate Change Media Partnership invites applications for the 2009 fellowship programmeDeadline: 05/06/09 Region: Developing Countries
The largest group of developing-world journalists returns to boost media coverage of climate change in a critical year of negotiations.
The Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) has today opened its 2009 Fellowship Programme. It encourages all journalists in developing countries who report on climate change to apply.
This programme comes during a critical year of negotiations that ends in December with the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen where a new global deal could be struck.
Forty journalists will be awarded fellowships which will give them skills training and access to world class experts to enhance their knowledge. They have until midnight UK time (BST) on World Environment Day, 5 June, to file their applications.
The innovative programme is organised by the CCMP partners Internews, Panos and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), along with numerous regional groups.
“Climate change will disproportionately impact developing nations, yet journalists from these countries rarely have the resources to attend the intergovernmental negotiations aimed at tackling the problem,” says James Fahn, Global Director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.
Patrick Dambula, a former CCMP fellow from Malawi , highlights the importance of the fellowships: “There are so many journalists in Malawi who don’t know what climate change is all about and they go on to report the issue, which means there are chances they can misinform the people”.
The CCMP aims to address this by involving journalists from across the global South in a programme of activities over several months, including reporting on the Copenhagen summit. Here, in addition to receiving training and mentoring, they will take part in a media clinic and interview sessions with leading climate change experts and negotiators.
The CCMP has already brought a total of 74 developing country journalists from print, broadcast and online media to the last two UN climate summits, in Indonesia and Poland. At these meetings, the journalists produced over one thousand climate-change stories for media worldwide. At both summits the CCMP formed the largest single media group, providing politically independent journalistic scrutiny of the negotiations.
Comments from former fellows indicate the strength of the CCMP programme:
“I do think this is one of the best training opportunities I’ve had,” journalist in Mexico
“Simply an unparalleled experience for a journalist,” journalist in Nepal .
“The benefits have been incomparable and immense,” journalist in Sierra Leone .
“Former CCMP Fellows include journalists who have gone on to become some of the world’s most knowledgeable reporters on the topic,” says Mike Shanahan of the International Institute for Environment and Development. “Nearly 400 journalists applied for places on last year’s programme and we expect that competition will be even more intense this time. However, even the unlucky candidates will still benefit by receiving CCMP briefings and other materials.”
For the first time, the CCMP will be working with journalists in the run up to the UN summit, and not just at the summit itself. The partnership will commission articles and run a regional workshop at the pre-Copenhagen climate change negotiations in Bangkok beginning in late September.
“The Bangkok workshop will be a crucial stepping stone on the road to Copenhagen ,” explains Po Garden, project director for Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. “It will provide regional journalists and editors with a special opportunity to deepen their understanding of climate change issues and help them prepare their coverage for Copenhagen .”
Governments from around the world have set themselves a deadline of December 2009 to agree a new deal for addressing climate change.
“Without media from vulnerable countries there to report on the talks, negotiators will be under little public scrutiny,” says Indi Mclymont-Lafayette of Panos. “The CCMP programme creates the opportunity for journalists to report in depth on the negotiations. They can also share their stories with millions of people especially those in developing countries who might not yet understand how climate change will affect them.”
This year the programme funding consortium is led largely by a grant from EuropeAid. The CCMP is seeking additional financing to expand the number of journalists it can bring to Copenhagen.To apply for a CCMP fellowship (DEADLINE midnight UK time (BST) 5 JUNE), visit: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=cX9w8ID8c7MXH8bAgMwBPg_3d_3d To watch videos of former CCMP fellows talking about their experiences, visit: http://tinyurl.com/qej7ew http://tinyurl.com/psg58u For more information on the CCMP, visit: http://www.climatemediapartnership.org/ Those wishing to support CCMP fellowships should contact: CCMP@panos.org.uk