Science & Journalism for Climate Action
Strengthening the ties between journalism and science to increase public awareness on climate change in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia.
Awareness about climate change is not prevalent in mainstream discourse in many Central and Eastern European Countries, thus impeding public support for climate change prevention and mitigation. Media does have the power to increase awareness. Yet climate change coverage is often weak, opinionated, and lacks solid scientific argumentation. Scientist, on the other hand, who have the necessary understanding of climate change’s causes and effects, often lack expertise in climate science communication, not being able to communicate their knowledge in an accessible manner.
The project team aims to strengthen the connections between journalists and scientists in order to increase communication capacities of each group and thus improve the quality of climate change coverage and climate science communication. First, project members identify capacity gaps in both groups. As a next step, members take part in a series of events: in training groups, they improve their knowledge, skills, and expertise regarding effective climate communication. As part of these trainings, participants produce high-quality content such as popular science articles and science talks. National and regional media provide the distributional channels for these products. Furthermore, networking events establish connections between journalists and scientists that last beyond the project’s time frame, thus providing the basis for future high-quality climate change coverage and climate science communication.
Agenda Setting for Climate Action
While many scientists struggle to present their research in a simple way, journalists are often lacking access to scientific expertise. The project “Science & Journalism for Climate Action” paired the two groups and initiated partnerships between 152 journalists and scientists in Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, and Hungary. What a match! More than 90 media channels in South-eastern Europe picked up their joint research and published 370 TV reports, newspaper stories and online articles on climate action related topics. The project spurred the climate debate in the region and forged long-term cross-border collaboration between science and media.