The Green Beat Initiative – An online environmental journalism training program

The Green Beat Initiative – An online environmental journalism training program

The Green Beat Initiative is the first-ever virtual capacity-building program on environmental journalism for 100 campus journalists and school paper advisers in the Philippines

Online program with participants in the Philippines coming from Region III (Central Luzon), Region IV-A (Mimaropa), and the National Capital Region across over 50 cities. | 28 September 2020 – 14 November 2020

The Green Beat Initiative is the Philippines’ first-ever online environmental journalism training for campus journalists and school paper advisers. It is an all-virtual, 6-week training workshop which aimed to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue, develop, and report stories about the environment with a focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The word “Green Beat” is a term journalists use to refer to an environmental report or news and feature story. This program is an innovative initiative that aims to capacitate student journalists to become young environmental storytellers in the hope of addressing the lack of environmental story coverage, hence—The Green Beat Initiative. When young environmental journalists are empowered to shed light and increase conversations on environmental issues, the Philippine audience will develop a way of life that dialogues for and demands affirmative action on climate justice for all, including those living in coastal areas most vulnerable to climate change.

The author partnered with the country’s education ministry to roll out the project. They provided the institutional mandate and financial resources, while AYEJ provided the learning and training expertise on environmental journalism. The Department of Education is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for ensuring access to, promoting equity in, and improving the quality of basic education.

Because of restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we were forced to pivot our face-to-face workshops to the digital landscapes. For this program, we employed a blended learning approach where participants would engage with asynchronous learning materials for one week, and further engage in synchronous video conference at the end of the week.

The asynchronous learning materials were composed of video lecture by experts, reading assignments, formative assessments, guided activities, and reflection journals. The synchronous video conferences were composed of a weekly synthesis of learning and sharing of outputs, a panel discussion and Q&A session with expert resource persons, and one-on-one coaching and mentoring with facilitators.

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