NECJOGHA stars at the Media Challenge Expo

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By David Luganda AFMC/NECJOGHA

Kampala, Uganda – It takes a long time for a person  to become a science journalist, apart from the media coverage we have a big responsibility  as individuals in the media to help and push young journalists to write good stories.

This was revealed by Patrick Luganda, ED Network of Climate Journalists of the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) during the media expo organized by the Media Challenge Expo last Friday at the All Suite Hotel in Kampala. The theme for the expo was Reporting climate change and disaster risk reduction in Uganda and Africa.

 

“Many of you think that you can get favour from news editors, but an editor needs excellent work, an editor wants someone to burn the midnight oil,” Luganda said

He told the over 400 journalism students drawn from 12 universities and institutions that one’s personality matters for one to produce impacting stories in the newsroom. He gave an example of a person studying to get a PhD who spends years doing research and with high level of intensive studying.

NECJOGHA exhibited how they help in the dissemination of climate information using social media, website, online mentoring and climate cafes. The NECJOGHA stand attracted many students who wanted to know more about the organisation and its activities.

Other organisations which exhibited include Green Climate Campaign Africa, Fridays for Future Strike Uganda, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Radio4 103.3 FM.

Epa Ndahimana of the Africa Farmers Media Centre (AFMC) also presented a paper titled ‘Why Climate Reporting is Important.”

The CEO, Media Challenge Initiative, Mpindi Abbas in his opening remarks said climate journalists are more than reporters they must be engaged as leaders and people who are impacted by climate change.

“We have made up a statement, which is climate journalists are leaders and for Media Challenge Initiative it is a belief of the organization as we hope that as we go away from here, young journalists, stakeholders, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and partners, we need more investment into journalists to report climate change and disaster risks in Uganda,” Mpindi said.

  Gerald Tenywa, an environment journalist with the New Vision newspaper told the students that they should not wait for people to skill them and must learn how to write good and interesting stories.

“When writing a science story you need to unpack a lot of things and repack them carefully package them in that they can be appreciated and read. I have won environmental awards for story writing not because my stories are on front page sometimes are placed on 20th page,” Tenywa said.

Catherine Mwesigwa, a senior editor New Vision said that climate change reporting for a long time has been abstract and technical to break down but now the discussion has moved out of academic institutions and it is now more of an engagement.  

The young journalists were trained in effective reporting on climate change and the best students will be awarded on 24th November 2019 at Serena Hotel.

Training included special trainings for professional journalists, citizen journalists, and university journalism lecturers in climate change reporting. The Media Challenge Initiative will also kick off the first national Climate Change Media Awards, where the best student and mainstream journalists reporting about climate change issues will be awarded.

What they say about the Media Expo

Mudangi Boaz Media Challenge alumni: Last year I was able to participate in the Media Challenge Expo which improved my production and interview skills, gained confidence and after my diploma at UMCAT I got a job at Top Radio in the production department.

Sadrach Nirere coordinator Friday for Future Strike Uganda: I have learnt how to improve on my digital communication skills about climate issues says

Balaam Ankunda, Lecturer at UMCAT School of Journalism and Mass Communication: My students have understood what is climate change, how to report climate change stories and impacts, causes of climate change to our society.  This year’s expo has given experiences and deeper understanding of climate change and delivering of climate information to our students better.

 

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