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Science and journalism must collaborate

Joep from Nextblue
Joep from Nextblue
Hello all,
Today we’ll talk about science, journalism and our new project.
We have recently been granted to start a journalism project in Bangladesh by the Earth Journalism Network. When speaking about the devastating impacts of climate change, Bangladesh is a common example.
Characterised by its coastal deltas, Bangladesh faces some of the worst impacts of rising sea-levels, with the country recently experiencing the worst floods in decades. But what is not heard as often is that Bangladesh is one of the most resilient countries in the face of climate change.
We invite Bangladeshi journalists to share their inspiring practices in dealing with climate change impacts in water management, agriculture, business, and social development in different regions across the country.
Local Bangladeshi journalists can download the Application Package here.
We have organised a launch event. This will be the starting point for sharing inspiring stories that will be published in September this year.
We thank all participants, especially Prof. Saleemul Huq, Dr. MA Quassem, and Ramesh Bhushal for sharing their inspiring thoughts during the event.
Our team member Long Hoang was inspired by the discussion on science and journalism.
Here is his story.
Hashem Kazi (65), standing on his last piece of land in Bangladesh. Photo: Sohan Rahat
Hashem Kazi (65), standing on his last piece of land in Bangladesh. Photo: Sohan Rahat
Science and journalism must collaborate to address climate change, but we need to learn how.
Today, journalism and media increasingly influence different facets of society, from business to policy making, all the way down to personal safety, climate risks and wellbeing. The internet and social media platforms allow access to audiences in ways and speeds unimaginable to someone living twenty years ago.
All the while, climate change has become an undeniable reality, impacting peoples’ daily lives across the globe. Advances in science help us to understand phenomenon like floods, droughts, seawater intrusion, greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Scientists have important stories to tell about climate change and how it puts our economy and our wellbeing at risk. These stories need to reach society and decision makers.
Inherently scientists are not media and communication experts. Facts and scientific evidence do not naturally come to our awareness, and in some worst cases, they are mis-understood, leading to confusion and distrust. Bringing scientific facts and insights to the spotlight of public debate and policy making on climate change is therefore increasingly felt as a responsibility by the scientific community.
Journalists and media producers are of tremendous value in bringing the science-driven messages to the world, to effectively combat climate change. Such science-journalism collaborations are currently much needed to effectively communicate and advocate for climate actions and solutions. But they do not come naturally. We – the scientists, journalists, and media producers – must learn to effectively work together.
From our discussion with journalists and scientists at Nextblue under the Bangladesh and Climate Change project live event, we learn about several ways through which the two groups can collaborate more effectively.
  1. It is important to communicate scientific facts and certainties rather than overly emphasizing uncertainties. This helps to pick up the right message that climate change and its impacts are real and require immediate actions.
  2. A meaningful collaboration between science and journalism should start from building mutual understanding, establishing relationships and trust. For example, it is no longer useful to have a brief interview with a climate scientist for the sole purpose of getting a few quotes on a news article, oftentimes out of context.
  3. The collaboration can benefit from emerging hybrid communication platforms where scientists and journalists jointly produce and promote content, such as the Gobeshona knowledge sharing platform.
Already existing examples show us that science-journalism collaboration is truly meaningful and helping to shape our action for a climate-resilient society for all – I am happy to be part of this work.
Watch our latest video
Bangladesh and Climate Change
Bangladesh and Climate Change
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Quote of the week
Water is everywhere, but ultimately rare. We must bring systemic change in the way water is valued in policy, practice, finance and and inspire others to do the same.
Tweet of the week
Mohammed Hammie Rajab on Twitter: "Social media campaigns on water are good but sometimes it creates the gap for people living in rural Tanzania- many of them don’t own smartphones or access to internet. But I am glad to be their bridge by amplifying their voices through community radios and be heard #valuingwater… https://t.co/JeN5auBGTo"
Hello. We're Nextblue.
Nextblue is a storytelling platform about water and climate change.
Together, we can empower the voices of communities in the heart of delta regions around the world. Will you join?
I would like to hear from you if you have any questions or suggestions about this newsletter, Nextblue, or your own stories on water and climate change. Just send an email to [email protected].
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Joep from Nextblue
Joep from Nextblue @nextbluestories

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