Environmental Journalism Toolkits (Other)Earth Journalism Network | 01 January 2011
The following is a listing of environmental journalism toolkits and tips found throughout the web.
News University (Poynter Institute) Online Courses
The Poynter Institute’s News University is an online journalism training program with more than 150 free and low-cost courses, such as “Covering Water Quality: What You Need to Know” and a new course on climate change reporting. For more information see the NewsU.org website.
SciDev.Net Science Communication Gateway
This section of the SciDev.Net website provides news, features and opinion articles related to science communication and science journalism. Of more value to working journalists are the Practical Guides on topics such as: reporting on science policy, on climate change, and on biodiversity, risk and controversy. For more information see the SciDev.Net website.
YouTube Reporters Center
The YouTube Reporters’ Center features top journalists and news organizations sharing instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting. It includes videos on topics such as how to conduct good interviews and how to find good sources of information.
Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting
Journalists can obtain valuable resources and tools on a wide range of topics including climate change, global fisheries, oil spills, water pollution, coastal ecosystems, extreme weather, marine deep biosphere, and more. Metcalf Institute’s Resources page makes it easy for you to search by topic or program on a variety of science and environmental issues with the click of the mouse.
Access information on government agencies, directories, and data bases on a variety of topics including census of marine life, pesticides: science and policy, and energy and environmental legislation. You can also attend Metcalf Institute lectures or seminars by visiting the Metcalf Institute YouTube channel.
Online Course: Science Journalism
The World Federation of Science Journalists has produced the “world’s first online course in science journalism.” It has modules in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. Although it is a general science journalism course, much of it is relevant to reporting on environmental health and climate change. The online course consists of ten major lessons written by experienced science journalists actively working in the field. Each lesson consists of an e-lecture with examples, self-teaching questions, and assignments. The lessons have been designed to be accessible on all electronic platforms: tablets (Galaxy, iPads, Kindle, Nook) and smart phones. You can also download a 'print version.
Media as Partners in Education for Sustainable Development
Section One of this UNESCO document has five topic chapters (climate change, resource depletion, water, biodiversity and extinction, and pollution), which summarize the problems in these areas and ways for journalists to report on them. Each section suggests resources and includes notes for trainers, including group and individual exercises and some very brief lecture notes.
Section Two focuses on reporting skills, with sections on "discussing sustainability," "asking the right questions," "delivering warnings," and "selling the story." Each of these also has material for trainers. Section Three gives examples of positive things people are doing to address the environmental challenges described. The document has a short glossary and list of acronyms and further reading.
Download the training kit [pdf] from the UNESCO website.
Reporting on Population, Health, and the Environment: A Guide for Central American Journalists
This 36-page e-book by the Population Reference Bureau informs journalists on the links between population, health, and the environment. It focuses on Central America but has some wider relevance, providing key data, story ideas and information sources. Topics include the Millennium Development goals, pollution, human health, economic development, loss of natural resources, food production, natural hazards, and risks to vulnerable groups such as the economically poor, elderly, and women. The e-book is available in English and Spanish. For more information see the Population Reference Bureau website.
Forum for African Investigative Reporters
To support existing environmental investigation and encourage new ones, FAIR produced a toolkit which offers tips, hints and links to other resources to help investigative journalists.
The handbook approaches the basic science of climate change and environmental issues confidently. It also identifies and describes the key environmental issues affecting Africa, and localizes world and continental problems as part of its coverage. The text is split into practical, work-related sections and contains exercises and talking points you can use to engage others in your newsroom so they see the importance of environment stories.