CLIMATE CHANGE: Scribes Trained On Investigating Environmental Crime

The Open Climate Reporting Initiative AIIJ Fellows pose with their certificates after the training on Environmental Crime PHOTO/AIIJ

By Our Reporter 

WAKISO, [SHIFTMEDIA] The issue of investigating climate change and Environmental Crime that is a threat to humanity has got a boost with the skilling of scribes.

Leading investigative journalists drawn from across Uganda underwent a three-day residential training on Environmental Crime and Climate Change at the Hotel Lavena  in Wakiso.

The inaugural Open Climate Reporting Initiative  (OCRI) fellows were selected after a vigorous screening of their pitches by experts from the African Institute for Investigative Journalism (AIIJ).

DONE, The investigative journalists after the three day residential training

With support from the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJ), the top 10 investigative journalists were taken through aspects of Climate Change and Environmental Crime.

Akitunde Babatunde from the CIJ Nigeria said the fellows would be instrumental in combating environmental abuse.

Facilitators tip journalists

The three day intense, but rather exciting and exhilarating training was facilitated by a team of cohorts with experience in climate and environment issues.

Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba a seasoned climate change and environment science specialist, with known international experience in research and training took the scribes through aspects of Climate Change and Environmental Crime.

Seasoned and investigative journalist, Raymond Mujuni who also doubles as the Deputy Executive Director African Institute for Investigative Journalism was handy when it came to aspects of Data Visualization into Climate Change.

The facilitators Tabu Butagira (C), Daniel Lutaaya (inset left), Dr Ddumba (inset right) during the training

Investigating on Climate Change and Environmental Crime, needs facts and evidence. This topic was well executed by Joseph Elunya, a renowned freelance journalist and Fact checker. The scribes left the training with better skills in Fact Checking in investigating Climate Change and Environmental Crime.

After pitching, journalists are supposed to be ready to tell their story. The BBC Komla Dumor Award 2019 winner, investigative Journalist, known for his mind boggling piece: ‘Stealing from the sick”, Solomon Serwanjja (below) pumped the art of storytelling skills into the heads of the Journalism fellows.

Solomon Serwanjja AIIJ
Solomon Serwanjja the ED African Institute for Investigative Journalism gives tips on the Art of Story Telling

“The process was so stiff. We received very many applications, but we wanted only 10 investigative journalists. Your pitches were super, that is the reason you are here today,” said the AIIJ Executive Director Serwanjja.

Interest the Editor

It is only when you interest the editor, that your story will see the light of day, but how many journalists know this important aspect. To brainstorm on the importance of integrating the mind of the Editor into investigating climate change and environmental crime was the Nation Media Group (Daily Monitor) Managing Editor Tabu Butagira.

“The most important person in the newsroom is the reporter, but journalists should also offer solutions,” said Butagira.

He urged the fellows to desist from speculation, but to report the truth, and be seen to be fair as journalists.

Abaas Mpindi from the Media Challenge Initiative (MCI) gave tips on solution bas journalism on climate change and Environmental Crime.

When it comes scripting and writing investigative stories, many journalists weren’t considering this aspect. But, Daniel Lutaaya  another renowned investigative Journalist, formerly with NBS TV, and now Head of content at AIIJ was instrumental regarding imparting these skills.

The fellows who included Gerald Tenywa, Okello Jesus Ojara, Patrick Jaramogi, Jamila Mulindwa , Gloria Atuhairwe, Joel Kaguta, Packrwoth Racheal, Chowoo Willy, and Emmanuel Duku also got skills in using online tools for investigating climate change and environmental crim.

The fellows filling great after the three day training. Inset the facilitators, Abaas Mpindi, Rahim Nwali and Solomon Serwanjja

To take them through the modus operandi was Herbert Benon Oluka the Africa Editor Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN).

The broadcasting journalists, benefited as well from the session on use of photo and Videography to investigate Climate Change and Environmental crime that was perfectly done by the leading documentary Cameraman, Godfrey Badebye.

Grants Award

The Executive Director African Institute for Investigative Journalism Solomon Serwanjja said the trained fellows would be supported with grants and mentors to investigate the stories that they pitched.

Barbara Kalumba
Barbara Kalumba the Program Manager AIIJ listens during one of the presentations

The AIIJ Program Manager Barbara Kalumba  (above) said the fellowship will last for three months, ending in December 2022.





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