What if? Safety Handbook for Women Journalists” Turkish edition was launched on April 21, 2022 at 19:00 pm Istanbul time at the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) with the presence of many Turkish journalists.

Abeer Saady, author of the handbook and former IAWRT Vice Chairperson, was not able to join the event in person as she was in Pakistan training journalists and media students, but was able to contribute online.

“Special thanks [go] to IAWRT, JMIC, TGS, and to the great media professors Bora Ataman and Barış Çoban who made that possible. I wish I was there in person with the editor of the book Nonee Walsh and editor of the Arabic version عماد ناصف Emad Nasif,” said Saady in her post on the launch.

The complete discussion surrounding climate change is an abstraction. What does two degrees Celsius actually mean to people? Information and debate are dominated by national governments, large enterprises, scientists, and academia. The vast majority of media depend on these experts for their coverage of climate change. Our community’s experience has been ignored; and left out of the search for solutions.

My Climate Change Story is a project initiated by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to collect climate change vignettes from the people experiencing climate change first-hand and working together to protect the environment to make a difference. Submissions will be uploaded to My Climate Change YouTube Channel to begin a global discussion.

On March 18, 2022, we held our first event, in parallel with the 2022 UN Commission on the Status of Women, offering training in producing short videos using a cell phone. The two-hour session was oversubscribed by more than three times what the Zoom platform was able to accommodate, giving us a sense of the depth of interest and need for this training. The workshop covered ways to make the most of cell phone video capability – planning and storyboarding, angles and shot framing, and editing and uploading to YouTube channel – through demonstrations in plenary sessions and practical experience in breakout rooms. Workshop participants receive access for follow-up assistance.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2022, we are organizing a virtual event to discuss the democratization of climate information. In the first part of the webinar, we will present two of the seven-minute vignettes submitted to My Climate Change YouTube channel. It will be followed by a panel of experts who will speak to the UNESCO theme and climate journalists. This past December Sasha Chavkin, of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Columbia Journalism Review, reported “Many of the countries that have seen the most violence against environmental defenders in recent years also rank near the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index.” Journalists must feel confident and safe to report their stories for the greater public good.

IAWRT’s ‘My Climate Change YouTube channel’ will contain original film shorts (three to seven minutes) created by women of all ages from countries around the world. The channel will be organized to highlight common themes, and to encourage future collaborations among participants, across boundaries of geography, culture, and age.  Contents will be shared with journalists, to add personal experience to climate news that otherwise focuses only on science and statistics, technologies and politics and other distancing facts. Ultimately, our goal is to promulgate the idea that the people most affected by climate change – especially women and girls – and those most active in making a difference have the right to be making decisions that affect their own and their families’ fates and to be involved in the formulating of solutions that are otherwise imposed by national governments and distant corporations.

Our goal is to not only empower our members to use their cell phones to tell their stories, but to also teach other women and girls to produce cellphone cinema, and to also build community support for their everyday work. My Climate Change Story YouTube Channel is a laboratory for innovation and solutions that can be shared and emulated globally.

Panel of Experts include:

  • Gaea Katreena Cabico, The Philippines
  • UNESCO Asia Pacific
  • Elisabeth Eide, JMIC Norway
  • Dr. Michelle Ferrier, TrollBusters (USA)
  • Teopista Nabusoba, Kenya

We won’t solve the climate crisis unless we solve the misinformation crisis.

Report from a meeting in Oslo, Sunday, 3rd of April, with Alina Radu, editor and IAWRT Member from Moldova.

By Kristine Ramm

“When the media group Ziarul de Gardă started up 18 years ago, we were the smallest media group in the country. We wanted to give the people independent news.

Moldova is 30 years old, created in 1991. There have been 12 governments during these 18 years, and many members were dismissed because of our work.

Now we have become the largest investigative media group in the country. It includes the largest newspaper, a top web page, and a weekly investigative video program.

So my advice is this: Never give up,” shared Alina Radu, a journalist from Moldova.

On her way home from a journalistic conference in Norway, Alina Radu managed to slip in a meeting before returning home. Twenty people listened to her conversation with journalist Olga Stokke, a newly recruited IAWRT member and elected board member of IAWRT Norway.

Alina Radu has 30 years of journalism career, being awarded by many national and international institutions for her investigative reports against corruption and promoting human rights (Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Netherlands, Switzerland). Her newsroom is known for impactful investigative stories about corruption at the highest level. She shared:

“Through investigative methods, we have revealed corruption amongst politicians, judges, and religious leaders.

Because of ZdG’s investigative articles about his forged diploma and qualification papers, a prime minister had to step down, and authorities relied on our reporter’s work. Moreover, they often use our investigative stories as the basis for the Prosecutor’s office penal investigations on corrupt politicians in the country”.

Situated between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova has received over 400,000 refugees, the highest nr per capita of all the countries in the region. But unfortunately, it is also the poorest country in Europe.

Some of them travel on, but about 100,000 had nowhere to go.

“Nobody has been left to sleep outside. On the contrary, 90 % have been taken into private homes, which can be ok for a week, more demanding after a month. And more refugees will come, and the next wave probably is more traumatized than the first ones.

Our situation is not as bad as for the Ukrainians, of course. Ukrainian journalists cover the war without helmets and salaries. But we feel a pressure to inform. We have established good connections in the neighboring countries. The journalists at ZdG now work in 3 shifts, from 6 in the morning till midnight.

Since the start of the war, the web page has become the most read in Moldova, a source of information for Moldovan citizens, Romania, and many European countries who want information about Ukrainian refugees.

Professionally we are on top. We have many readers, but financially we are in a crisis. Our ordinary subscribers are poor, and we cannot charge the full price. We depend on donations, and several of them have stopped.

But we don’t give up. The people need independent news more than ever,” shared Radu.