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Female journalists excited to report on Climate Change and Environment 

Climate Change and environment reporting for field female journalists in Northern Uganda

Field female journalists from Northern Uganda are promising to put to work skills gained during a one-day training on Climate Change and Environment reporting as they try to shine light on the injustices and opportunities that exist in their region. The fifteen journalists were recently attending a training organized by Female Journalists Forum Uganda (FEMJOF-UGANDA), a not-for-profit media organization based in Gulu city.  

Most of the trained journalists have been in the media for about three years and had never had a training on climate change and environment reporting.

“Female journalists are lagging behind in knowing a lot of things concerning reporting in the field,” says Ms Brenda Gloria Ajok, a field journalist with Favour FM in Gulu.

“Having been in the field for three years, I had never attended such a training,” says Ms Cahrity Akullu, a journalist with Daily Monitor. She is based in Lira district.

The one-day training that happened from Golden Peace Hotel in Gulu city, Northern Uganda was aimed at equipping the female journalists with skills to better under climate change and environment reporting and be able to apply the knowledge in their work.

Ms. Esther Nakkazi, a trainer and the Founder of Health Journalists Network in Uganda emphasizes the need for proper research and understanding of the subject when planning to pursue in-depth environmental stories. She says the pitch mirrors into ones’ understanding of their story idea.

“Pitching is a craft you need to learn.  Do enough research. Go beyond the press releases and do a unique good story. No editor will reject a good story pitch” Ms. Nakkazi accentuates.

Ms. Nakkazi encourages the journalists to embrace reporting on climate change and environment stories since it has more opportunities.

“Do a good environment story and you will be amazed by open doors of opportunities coming your way,” she adds.

Ms. Diana Taremwa Karakire, a trainer and freelance environment journalist told the female journalists to always relate their environment stories with issues in the communities, reflecting on policies in the country. For instance, taking into account how climate change instigates Gender Based Violence-GBV both locally and nationally.

“Ensure you capture different voices when pursuing your story. Be gender sensitive and relate your stories with issues in the communities like GBV, Sexually Reproductive Health, Mental Health, and Education. Tap into solution stories and other broader National agenda,” Ms. Karakire elaborates.

Arthur Owor, Director of Research and Operations at Centre for Africa Research shares the same sentiment with Ms. Karakire on localizing stories.

“Localize your work as a journalist. Get the local perspectives and pay attention to statistics” Mr. Owor says.

According to Mr. Owor, tackling the problem of climate change and environmental violence needs a collective effort of the local communities, the media, politicians and other developmental partners.

“Environmental problems need political solutions. Name and shame people destroying the environment and causing environmental violence,” he says.

Favor FM journalists, Ms. Ajok, promised to empower her colleagues in the newsroom with the knowledge got from the training to help them pursue environment stories.

“The knowledge I got from the training will help us develop and move together as a team, not only for those reporting on environment but also other beats if I go and teach them on how to pitch,” she happily talks about the training.

On the other hand, Ms. Susan Achola, a journalist working with Radio Wango OO appreciated FEMJOF-Uganda for supporting the female journalists in Northern Uganda with skills that will help them do their work professionally.

A recent report by the UN Environment Programme reveals that “Over-exploitation of our natural resources is increasingly leading to environmental degradation and contributing to reduced ecosystem services and disasters. Reduced ecosystem services in turn contribute to poverty.

“As the world strive to address social equity and economic development in the years to come, our awareness and ability to improve the state of the environment and secure environmental sustainability will shape our future.” The State of Environment Report-Uganda reads in part.

With support from WAN-IFRA African Media Grants, FEMJOF-Uganda trained the 15 female journalists who come from different media houses in the districts and cities of Gulu, Lira, Kitgum, Pader, and Agago to be able to come up with well packaged environment stories to offer alternative voices an create awareness and solutions climate change and environmental injustices.      

Post Author: admin

We empower. Change Narratives. Sustain
Female Journalists Forum – Uganda (FEMJOF-UGANDA) is a not-for-profit Community Based Organisation run by a group of female journalists in Gulu, Northern Uganda. We train, mentor, coach and counsel female journalists to change the narratives and become tomorrow’s great journalism leaders.

The idea to have a female media organization was established in 2019 when a group of about ten female journalists based in Gulu met and realized the shrinking number of female field journalists and the need to encourage female journalism students to join the newsroom with a purpose.

This dream to have a network and support system of female journalists based in Gulu was realized in 2021 when the organization was officially registered to not only bring together female journalists but advocate for a better working environment for female journalists, TRAIN , mentor, coach and counsel those that need a hand to reach their destiny.

In this, we envisaged better representation of women and female journalists in the media through a broad based approach to storytelling hence changing the traditional narratives of what and who a female journalist is. Currently, we have more than twenty members at different media houses and our mentorship programme at journalism institutions of learning is a step towards increasing this number in the newsrooms.

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