Roving Reporters runs training projects that help set in motion environmental writing careers.
We focus on training environmental science graduates and young journalists keen to write stories for the media about key environmental, social and justice issues.
In a democracy, decision makers should seek the greatest public good. In South Africa their choices often focus on the need for transformation, growth, job-creation and a better environment. But these aims are sometimes in conflict and decisions are often based on distorted or false perceptions. Sunlight, as they say, is the best disinfectant and Roving Reporters plays a role in illuminating the facts and giving a voice to people most affected by these decisions. This is especially important when government and NGO leaders are reluctant or constrained from speaking openly about pressing environmental problems.
Since 2011, Roving Reporters has mentored more than 50 young journalists and environmental writers, mostly in feature writing and investigative journalism. Our training model helps candidates write stories that are anchored in credible evidence and to share these stories on media platforms that they would normally struggle to access. We have a close to 100% track record in guiding the work of first-time writers through to publication in diverse media. Over the past three years, the Daily Maverick has been our key publishing partner. Audience reach averages at 45,000 readers per published story.
Roving Reporters’ 2021 biodiversity reporting project.
Supported by Earth Journalism Network, we mentored 17 young writers who collectively produced 21 stories covering a wide range of topics related to the loss of biodiversity – on land and in the oceans – and the need to balance human needs with environmental integrity.
The Khetha Journalism Training Project
More recently, we ran the journalism training component of the Khetha Journalism Project focused on the illegal wildlife the greater Kruger area. Our mentorship resulted in good published outcomes, including this recent collaborate feature story on the vexing vulture brain trade. First published as a double-page spread in the Daily Maverick magazine, and story was subsequently the subject of a Cape Talk show hosted by Alexis Burg. >> Click here to read more Khetha stories
Training to strengthen African climate journalism
At the frontlines of climate change
This is our first Ocean Watch online training course. It is designed to help trainee writers produce a series of high-quality, factual and engaging stories that reveal the impact of climate change on coastal communities, while exploring possible solutions to mitigate and respond to these impacts.
The 14-week course starts in July, with 20 trainees assigned to five reporting teams. Each team has a designated team editor and mentor who will guide research and investigations into one of the following course topics:
- Efforts to build resilience to climate change in urban coastal communities; lessons learned from the recent Durban flood catastrophe and preparedness for future climate-related disasters.
- Rampant illegal sand mining that is gouging the Wild Coast, and more broadly, the effects of climate change on biodiversity, agriculture, and land use in the region.
- The effectiveness of the Marine Protected Areas, including the iSimangaliso Wetland Park as a tool for maintaining and restoring ecosystem resilience, and contributing to food security and rural livelihoods.
- dying coral reefs off the East African coastline, from Mozambique to Tanzania; climate change impacts on other ocean ecosystems, iconic species and the socio-economic and cultural welfare of island communities.
- Living shorelines, sea grasses and coastal wetlands as long-term mitigation solutions.
The selection process for this lastest training project is stringent. In summary, prospective candidates need to motivate why they want to enrol on the course, and submit a CV and summary story pitch. Applicants also need to present an endorsement from of a partnering organisation confirming that it will pay the candidate’s course fee (R10,000 per head) and facilitate the candidate’s research and fieldwork.
For further information about Roving Reporters services contact Fred Kockott at +27 (0)83 277 8907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.