Empowering Kenyan Media to Report on Climate Change

In an effort to improve climate change reporting in Kenya, journalists and editors from across the nation gathered in Nairobi for a comprehensive training on how to go about climate change coverage.

Now in its second edition, the intensive training, focused on the challenges of climate change, a collaborative endeavour between the Kenya Editors’ Guild (KEG), German International Cooperation (GIZ) Kenya, and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry.

The workshop tackled the complex relationship between urbanisation and climate change, examining the challenges and opportunities that arise as cities expand and grapple with the effects of a warming planet. 

Abel Omanga, project advisor at GIZ Kenya, emphasised the vital role of urban green spaces in mitigating climate change, stating, “All vegetation in the counties is to help with carbon sink. Trees have the natural abilities to trap carbon in the air.”

This highlighted the significance of nature-based solutions, such as urban forests and parks, in combating the urban heat island effect, reducing air pollution, and absorbing carbon dioxide.

Temesi Mukani, Communication Director at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, underscored the unique opportunity for journalists to make a significant impact in the current climate action landscape.

He urged reporters to sharpen their pitching skills, emphasising the need to frame stories in a compelling and engaging manner to capture the attention of both decision-makers and the general public.

Communication Director at the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, Temesi Mukani.

Mukani stressed that effective communication plays a crucial role in raising awareness, mobilising support, and driving meaningful action on climate change.

The workshop also focused on the art of storytelling in climate change reporting. KEG member Ellen Wanjiru emphasised that journalists should strive to go beyond merely reporting on the problems caused by climate change. 

She encouraged reporters to offer insights into potential solutions, strategies for adaptation, and examples of resilience in the face of climate challenges. “A good flow of a story will attract the consumer,” she remarked, highlighting the importance of crafting narratives that resonate with audiences and inspire them to engage with the issue.

The cornerstone of the workshop is the Climate Change Reporting curriculum, a comprehensive guide developed jointly by GIZ Kenya and the Ministry of Environment. 

This curriculum equips journalists with the knowledge and skills needed to report accurately and effectively on the multifaceted aspects of climate change.

It covers a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the scientific underpinnings of climate change to its far-reaching social, economic, and environmental consequences. 

Additionally, it explores potential solutions, mitigation strategies, and the importance of adaptation in building resilience to the impacts of climate change.

This training series represents a significant investment in enhancing the capacity of Kenyan media to report on climate change comprehensively and responsibly. 

The partnership between KEG, GIZ Kenya, and the Ministry of Environment proved the commitment of these organisations to empower journalists to play a pivotal role in raising awareness, informing the public, and shaping the national conversation on climate change.

The workshop will continue to unfold with in-depth discussions, interactive sessions, and practical exercises designed to equip journalists with the tools and knowledge they need to report on climate change with accuracy, depth, and impact. It is hoped that this training will not only enhance the quality of climate change reporting in Kenya but also contribute to a more informed and engaged public discourse on this critical issue.

Members of Kenya Editors Guild.

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