The Faculty of Humanities, Forman Christian College (FCCU), in collaboration with Journalism & Media International Center (JMIC), OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway and the Media Climate Network hosted a one-day workshop on Climate Journalism Education.
Various academicians, postgraduate students and journalists joining in from all over Pakistan and abroad. Dr Altaf Ullah Khan, Dean of Humanities at FCCU inaugurated the workshop and gave a keynote speech in which he stated, “In the current environment, students need to have basic knowledge of climate change and we plan to make this into a skill set for them by introducing a course climate journalism in journalism institutions in Pakistan.”
The workshop was moderated Syed Saqib Saleem, Assistant Professor, Department of Mass Communication, FCCU. The workshop recommended best practices along with sharing the course documents developed by different universities in Pakistan. International experts also shared their expertise which gave a fair understanding of the global reach of the syllabi for climate journalism.
Dr Firasat Jabeen, Chairperson Department of Mass Communication and Assistant Professor, FCCU and Prof Elizabeth Eide, JMIC and Co-Director Media Climate Network and Professor of Journalism gave an introduction to the workshop and welcomed all the speakers and participants. They both highlighted how climate journalism education in Pakistan is the need of the hour considering the major climate crisis situation in Pakistan.
The first speaker of the workshop was Ms Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam, Pakistani Editor at The Third Pole. She called Environmental Journalism as the next big thing in Pakistan. She said that The Third Pole specializes in doing value addition stories in climate journalism for a better understanding of an ordinary reader.
Ms Farahnaz was followed by Prof Andreas Ytterstad, Professor at Department of Journalism and Media Studies, OsloMet. He shared that while science journalism sets the base for climate change reporting, we also need to report on society changes and how it is being affected by climate change. He was of the view that, “Climate change is really just global warming which is causing havoc all over the world. The word climate change has been politicized.” After his speech he gave the floor to Mr Mofizur Rahman, Professor University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and member of the Media Climate Network. Mr Mofizur Rahman highlighted the need for climate journalism education all over the world and shared the course outline of the course on climate journalism that he is teaching.
Mr Daud Khan, an award winning multimedia journalist based in KPK, Pakistan and member of Oxford Climate Journalism Network (OCJN) gave a presentation on visualizing climate change. He shared some tools and resources that could be used while doing climate coverage which included Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA), Global Forest Watch and SkyTruth Flaring Map. The last speaker of the day was Mr Syed M Saqib Saleem, Assistant Professor Department of Mass Communication. He shared alternate learning pathways for climate journalism in Pakistan and ideas for course content in Pakistan. He said, “For improving the quality of climate news coverage, journalism students need to be trained in the universities and be motivated for climate action. ”
Finally, a group activity was done where participants brainstormed student learning objectives and course activities and presented their ideas on teaching climate journalism.
The workshop concluded with some final remarks by Dr Elisabeth Eide. Dr Jonathan S Addleton, Rector, FCCU, was also present at the occasion and gave his concluding speech. After that, certificates were distributed among the participants.
Overall, the training was informative and valuable for participants and encouraged them to become changemakers within their institutions and support the efforts to introduce climate journalism education courses for journalism students in Pakistan.