Environmental Journalism Workshop

On 20 Sept, 2023 the SPACES project conducted an environmental journalism workshop as part of the My Green Mongolia campaign. Twenty journalists representing major news agencies, TVs, and Radio stations participated in the event, namely Daily News, Zuunii Medee, Times.mn, delhii.mn, TV9, Eagle.mn, Peak.mn, M&D agency, and Mongolian National Broadcasting (MNB).  The workshop was led by Enerel, a renowned journalist active on environmental and gender issues and member of the Mongolian Media Council, and was facilitated by Narangerel Yansanjav of the People Centered Conservation (PCC). 

The main objectives of the event was to learn and share knowledge on environmental issues at the national level and increase journalists’ motivation to publicize such issues. This will contribute to creating a pool of journalists interested in and collaborating in environmental journalism.

When participants divided into three groups and brainstormed the most immediate and serious environmental in Mongolia from a journalistic viewpoint, they  identified desertification and water and soil pollution. They also mentioned that poor knowledge, attitudes, and practices among the public are key drivers of environmental degradation in Mongolia. According to the journalists, inadequate policy and poor management also contribute to the issues related to the environment.

Enerel gave a well-illustrated overview on climate change and environmental degradation at the global and national level, using info-graphics and animated videos. The journalists then discussed their own and the media’s role to raise public awareness. It eventually led the journalists to realize that environmental topics can be "hot" and "fashionable".

To this end, a presentation by GIZ specialist Thorsten Harder on the provocative question "Will Mongolia still exist in 50 years?” if its natural resources are not well protected was a wake-up call. In an informal discussion session journalists asked the presenter and themselves the media can and should do about this partly natural, partly human disaster. Several journalists requested an interview with Thorsten on the findings and issues he shared in his talk.  

The discussion led the participants to elaborate how they as media professionals should work to deliver environmental messages to the public and to policymakers. As a case in point, Enerel provided an interactive presentation on how journalists from all over the world go about this public duty task by means of different approaches. She also introduced the KISS AIDA principles as a basis for good environmental journalism: “Keep It (messages) Short & Simple in order to get Attention, create Interest, awaken Desire, and trigger a call to Action”.

During the last session, the participants divided into four groups and brainstormed on how to prepare interactive media content using the KISS AIDA principles. In a plenary presentation of their discussion results, they shared their ideas and commented on one another's product.  This was a welcome peer learning opportunity for the journalists involved.

The training ended with a group photo symbolizing the initiation of a team of dedicated and passionate journalists to foster environmental journalism in Mongolia.

After the workshop, Thorsten Harder was interviewed by the eagle.mn website, and both Narangerel Yansanjav and the Zoological Society London (ZSL) had talks with MNB about the MGM campaign. 
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