Climate Tracker offers opportunities for environmental journalism in the Caribbean

A phrase that is becoming quite a cliché these days is: “The Caribbean is on the front lines of the climate crisis.” What this really means is that, very often, our small nations have to do the heavy lifting. Are we armed and ready for the battle on those front lines? And before we get that far, do we really understand what we are up against? Climate change is multi-layered, with many threads to tie together. Plus, there is a fair dose of science to be unraveled and interpreted. There is a lot of explaining to do.

This is why it is so important for our local media to get to grips with the issue: journalists need to increase their knowledge and build their confidence in what they learn; to recognise the power of research; and to focus on the separate but interlocking themes and issues that can present a picture to the general public of what is really happening over there. Tone down the jargon, loosen up the technical stuff – keep it real, as they say. That is perhaps the most challenging aspect of their training.

A Grenadian fisherman stands on a makeshift breakwater of old tires and driftwood to protect the shoreline at his village in Telegraph, Grenada in 2013. (Photo: David McFadden, AP)

Climate Tracker is offering global journalism fellowships to ten journalists to attend COP-27, the annual UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from November 7 – 18, 2022. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 19, 2022. Apply today!

It is really good to see that organisations like Climate Tracker are investing in environmental journalism in the region. Here’s more from Climate Tracker’s Dizzanne Billy:

Climate Tracker is providing 30 young journalists from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana with the opportunity to participate in an innovative Caribbean Energy Transition Journalism Programme featuring regional and global experts in energy transitions and award-winning journalists. [I noted just three Jamaicans, and hope there will be more next time around].

Three dynamic young Jamaicans selected for the training: in gorgeous yellow is Candice Stewart, “a storyteller who takes pleasure in extracting the lessons learned from difficult and pleasant experiences through insightful means.” She holds an MA in Communications for Social and Behaviour Change from the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), she enjoys writing human interest articles. And she is a really good writer! Top right is a Fiona Daniels, a 25 year old bilingual (English and Spanish) communicator who loves to read and write and is passionate about volunteerism. Lower right is Tamoy Campbell, who describes herself as “a budding attorney at law” and a radio and event host who brings nothing but high energy, wit, and a real penchant for breaking down complex conversations in a super simplified way.

Caribbean journalists play an important role in tracking energy transition developments across the region; holding decision-makers to account and expanding public consciousness on these issues. As such, it is imperative that we all support good journalism in the region in any way we can.

As masterclasses led by some of the region’s foremost leaders, these online workshops are designed to engage journalists in expanding their knowledge of the Caribbean’s energy needs and resources, and the scientific, political, economic, human and social dimensions of the adaptation and resilience measures that are being taken and will need to be taken as part of the region’s energy transition. They are also sharpening journalists’ skills in information gathering, reporting and explaining – to support them in communicating these complex issues with various audiences.

Nine journalists from this cohort will also have the opportunity to access funding and further mentorship to produce energy transition stories with regional news media.

Climate Tracker is an international non-profit organization, aiming to support, train and incentivise better climate journalism globally. We believe in the power of journalism, but we know that many young journalists don’t have the training, resources, or support to tell the stories they want to tell. 

We know that while outstanding, insightful reporting is being done, this challenge is even greater in regions like the Caribbean which unfortunately are most affected by the climate crisis and therefore need the greatest investment. So we continue to create programmes to enrich young journalists in these regions to tackle the ambitious stories they want to.

Read more about this project and the current cohort of journalists here.

For more details, contact: Ms. Kristeena Monteith (Caribbean Programmes Officer) at kristeena@climatetracker.org

Good luck to all, and I look forward to reading insightful and well-crafted pieces from these young journalists on what is one of the most challenging issues for our region.

Solar panel installation in the Caribbean. (Photo: Solar Head of State)


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