Female news reporters and editors from the Albertine Graben region on 11th March 2023 converged in Hoima City to undergo training aimed at improving their skills as environment reporters.
The twenty environment-enthusiastic newswomen were drawn from the districts of Hoima, Masindi, Mubende, Kiboga, Kikuube and Buliisa among others.
The training, organized by Western Media for Environment and Conservation (WEMECO) with support from Global Green Grants Fund and other Environment conservationists, among other issues looked at how journalism can be used to conserve the environment and avert climate change.
One of the training facilitators, Leila Bbale, an editor at Spice FM, a Hoima-based radio station, highlighted that women are the most affected when the environment is damaged because of their positioning in society.
“When water sources like wetlands and lakes are destroyed, it is the women who suffer most. When there are floods or drought because of the climatic changes, the women and children are vulnerable to the sufferings caused,” Bbale said.
She encouraged female journalists to consistently report on the issues of the environment because they can create climate change awareness through their work.
In an interactive presentation, Precious Naturinda, who works with the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and Uganda Community Green Radio Kiboga, highlighted the importance of women's involvement in combating environmental degradation.
Baz Waiswa, the editor of Earthfinds, an environment and extractives publication, trained the participants in the use of digital media to tell environment stories.
He demonstrated how the participants can create their own blogs to tell community stories and the use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and TikTok among others.
Waiswa also conducted an afternoon session where he introduced the idea of using shareable podcasts to voice out the issues concerning the environment. He demonstrated how to create and set up podcasts.
The Executive Director of WEMECO, Peter Akugizibwe Araali, encouraged female journalists to use the available media tools and skills learnt at the training to put out stories that are impactful and can influence change in the way communities engage with the environment.
He said that reporting on the environment offers female journalists opportunities that can scale them up. “There are organizations that are willing to collaborate with journalists like you. When this happens, you are able to get funding to facilitate your journalism and stories output,” he said.
Akugizibwe said the main objective of the female journalists’ workshop was to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to enable them to understand how to deal with climate change by using new media tools like blogs, social media and podcasts.
Charles Batambuze, a member of WEMECO, and represented the WEMECO board chairperson, Ndeezi Doreen, thanked organizations that facilitated the workshop and the participants and encouraged them to put the knowledge acquired into practice.
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