DepEd-DRRMS, AYEJ kick off second environmental journalism training for school paper advisers, young journalists

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To help reinforce the role of journalism in climate action and environmental reportage, the Department of Education through the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service (DepEd-DRRMS) alongside the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ) launched The Green Beat Initiative + (TGBI+), last Friday, August 27, with its first virtual synchronous learning session. TGBI+ is the second online environmental journalism training of its kind.

DepEd-DRRMS initially partnered with AYEJ to conduct the pilot-training of the first TGBI in 2020 which was an environmental journalism online training for high school campus journalists and school paper advisers. AYEJ is a start-up media organization and environmental non-profit working to amplify conversations about the Earth. 

This year, DepEd-DRRMS and AYEJ are once again teaming up to spearhead the second installment of the workshop through TGBI+, an 8-week intensive environmental journalism training with a special focus on radio broadcasting. 

During the synchronous session, DRRMS Director Ronilda Co said that more needs to be done to raise awareness about climate change. This is the primary reason why TGBI was born. 

“Many of us do not have the resources nor the capacity to actually be able to really adapt [to climate change]. They say that while global temperatures are rising, our capacity to adapt gets lower and lower. This is why the call is to make climate change an urgent issue,” she said. 

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TGBI+  will capacitate 20 school paper advisers who completed the pilot training last year. They will learn about the underlying principles and theories of environmental journalism and will be introduced to radio as a communication medium. The school paper advisers will then teach 7 campus journalists. 

At the end of the training, each publication shall produce a 10-minute radio magazine show to be broadcasted on local radio stations and streamed as a podcast for the 5th National Climate Change Conference in November this year.

This training is in line with DepEd-DRRMS’ commitment to strengthen climate literacy and support climate action in the basic education sector. Through workshops like these, DRRMS envisions to produce learners and teachers who are environmentally conscious and proactive in the development of green and sustainable schools. 

Director Co shared that for next year’s TGBI, they are hoping to proceed with TV broadcasting where school paper advisers have the opportunity to become trainers as well. 

“We have many learning opportunities in DepEd. We will do that when it comes to heeding the environment’s call. ‘Let the earth be heard,’ they said. But, let us also empower one another. As educators, let us empower our students… All of us, especially them, will actually face the dire consequences of [climate change], so let us have them in the conversation. Let us listen to them.” Director Co advised all participating school paper advisors. 

Additionally, with the institutionalization of campus journalism through Republic Act 7079, DepEd-DRRMS also aims to empower young campus journalists to pursue the green beat by covering local stories about the impacts of climate change. These stories can set the environmental agenda in their localities and may even urge people to amplify conversations about the climate crisis. 

DepEd-DRRMS and AYEJ first launched the pilot training of TGBI in 2020 where 40 school paper advisers and high school campus journalists completed the training focused on news and feature writing. The workshop produced 40 written articles that have been published on local and national media outlets. Selected campus journalists who completed the course also published press releases and climate action stories as press team members of the 4th National Climate Change Conference and the DepEd Earth Day Celebration 2021.

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