Since 2019, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network’s East Africa Wildlife and Conservation Journalism project has trained over 250 journalists and issued over 57 story grants. Some of these stories have won awards while others, like this one, have registered impact on the ground.
Now, the project will launch a Biodiversity Knowledge Hub with additional support from USAID and the Department of Interior.
The hub will host regular forums that bring together journalists, members of the conservation community, USAID partners, researchers and other experts, to improve media coverage of biodiversity-related environmental issues in East Africa. The forums will delve into the importance of biodiversity, the latest conservation threats, and solutions to combat them.
Recognizing that most training opportunities target journalists, the Hub will engage directly with editors as well. EJN will partner with media organizations in each of the target countries, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya to organize regular convenings to build the capacity of East African editors, producers and media leaders to learn more about the importance of biodiversity and encourage the reporters under their charge to cover biodiversity-related issues.
In addition, the Hub will be a resource, featuring stories, tipsheets and other materials for the region’s communicators and the general public to peruse online. EJN’s project staff will put together a social media campaign to share news, stories and reports about biodiversity, and partners will provide communications training to biodiversity-focused NGOs and CSOs, so they can better explain their missions to the media.
"Biodiversity plays such an important role in the economic and environmental well-being of East Africans," says EJN’s Executive Director, James Fahn. "We hope this new hub will complement our ongoing media development work and provide the knowledge and awareness needed to help the region better able to manage and sustain it."
As part of the Biodiversity Knowledge Hub, EJN will also partner with the Rwanda Media Commission to run a workshop in Kigali in the coming months for African journalists to gain a deeper understanding of the international climate negotiation process, ahead of COP27 being held in the continent in November.
Banner image: Chimpanzees at Kibale National Park in Uganda / Credit: Ronald Woan via Flickr.