Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Tips from an island journalist for Durban COP17

By Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson
Although our colleagues from the developed world have shared useful tips, the challenges faced by journalists from SIDS and LDC when reporting on the Climate COPS are
different. As a Samoan journalist reporting on the last three COPs I would like to offer these tips for my fellow small island and LDC journalists:

Journalism Approach:
1. Decide and research on some of the major issues you want to follow before going to Durban. This way when they talk about this issue you know how to link it back and
you understand the context. eg. adaptation  initiatives your country and how it relates to the mechanisms within the KP
2. Our countries are not usually visible in the COPs so localising any of the statements and major outcomes of the meeting is essential to appealing to your local
audience. eg. when Figueres makes a statement about Adaptation Fund how does that impact projects on the ground in your island?
3. As the more experienced journos and those from the developed world tend to dominate press conferences, it's best that you approach the speakers personally at the
end and ask a more country specific question. I have gotten some of my best stories from this approach. These people are a wealth of knowledge and can usually drop in
a useful quote about your small island or LDC in a five minute door stop.
4. Some of the best stories for our countries can come from side events by WHO, WMO, Germanwatch and others. They tend to have more information, have more time to chat
and can give you background on the relationship between the climate change issue they are discussing and your country.
5. Don't feel inferior to the more confident and experienced journalists who buzz around in the press room, you have as much right to be there as they are, and you are
covering your countries which more often than not don't get proper coverage at these big meetings.

Practical Tips
1. Turn up early to secure a good spot in the press room.
2. Make sure you have the right adapter for your laptop, this is your lifeline.
3. Take snacks with you, sometimes lunch is not an option, and I find that half the food in these COPs are equivalent to my daily wages at home, or they are so foreign
in taste that you end up starving the whole day, because frankly you would rather eat rice than try something new that day :)
4. Wear comfortable shoes, you will end up running more than you ever thought you would have to during the day!
5. Smile, it's an awesome experience, and when you return home you have plenty of stories to tell!

Six Pacific journalists receive Australian Leadership Awards

The 2011 ALA Fellows and APJC Staff.
APIA 09 Nov 2011 – Six Pacific Island journalists from Tonga, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Fiji are this month taking part in the ‘Reporting Climate Change and the Environment’ training as part of the Australian Leadership Award scheme by the Australian Government. The journalists were nominated by the Pacific Alliance of Development Journalists (PADJ), based in Samoa, as part of its goal to increase the coverage of climate change and environment in the Pacific media.
The fellowship which began on the 24th of October is hosted and implemented by the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre (APJC). It aims to help journalists better understand and report on climate change and other environment-related issues affecting countries in the Pacific region.
APJC Director, Mr. John Wallace reporting on progress of the training to Radio Australia said: “People are writing stories already but we'd argue that the topic needs to be given a higher priority and news media can play a role there. I think by coming here and seeing professionals who've been doing that in their workplace, I think they can pick up new ideas and use those techniques to make them write stories that are engaging and really useful for their communities.”
The program includes modules on communication and leadership, seminars and practical classes on reporting climate change and environment; it also encompasses a news media internship and professional visits in Melbourne and other centers in Australia.
Talking to Pacific Beat, one of the participants, Mr. Rikamati Naare, a journalist for the Kiribati Broadcasting and Publications Authority says the training will be useful on reporting in his home country. “The wider community in Kiribati are fully aware right now about the impacts of climate change and they are urging for action.”
PADJ nominated the journalists based on their interest in development issues, particularly in climate change and environment.
This is the first year PADJ has nominated fellows for the APJC ALA Fellowships, since the establishment of the Alliance in 2010, by five regional journalists from Samoa, Vanuatu, Niue, Palau and Fiji.
This years PADJ Nominated Fellows for the AusAID ALA Fellowships organised by APJC are Ms Verenaisi Tuvuki Raicola senior reporter for The Fiji Times, Ms. Rozalee Nongebatu, senior reporter and producer for Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Alain Simeon, news reporter for Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation, Ms Unumoe Esera, journalist for Le Weekender Newspaper, Mr Rikamati Naare, journalist for Kiribati Broadcasting and Publications Authority  and Ms Monalisa Palu, journalist Tongan correspondent, ABC Radio Australia.
The training ends on the 25th of November.

For More Information: Contact: padjournalists@gmail.comWebsite: