Climate Tracker

Published: June 28, 2023

Campus journalists from Eastern Visayas in the Philippines participated in a workshop conducted by Climate Tracker Asia that aimed to help them become effective storytellers of climate change issues.

Former ABS-CBN Tacloban news chief Sharon Evite speaks with campus journalists from Eastern Visayas.

Believing that young people are valuable contributors to climate action, Climate Tracker Asia organized a training program on climate journalism in Dolores, Eastern Samar on June 2. 

Around 300 elementary and high school students competing in the 2023 Regional Schools Press Conference and their school paper advisers attended the event. The activity was organized in partnership with the Department of Education Eastern Visayas.

Climate Tracker Asia Regional Director Biena Magbitang talks about the organization’s mission of empowering emerging climate storytellers.

The training program aimed to inspire and equip budding journalists in Eastern Visayas—a region vulnerable to the impacts of climate change—with knowledge and skills to produce stories that amplify voices of underrepresented communities, spark action, and shape climate policies. 

“We are letting you become agents of change and tell the stories of your experiences,” Climate Tracker Asia Regional Director Biena Magbitang said. 

Telling their own stories

A campus journalist from Eastern Visayas listens to a speaker during a training session on climate journalism.

Former ABS-CBN Tacloban news chief Sharon Evite reminded participants that journalism is a public service as she discussed the importance of community storytelling.

She also shared effective interviewing techniques, active listening skills, and ethical considerations when working with communities.

“In writing a compelling story for television broadcasts, always remember this: write for the ear, shoot for the eye, and aim for the heart,” Evite said. 

Celine Murillo, a conservation storyteller and Climate Tracker fellow, talked about the principles of visual storytelling and provided tips on how to create engaging climate-related content on popular social media platforms such as TikTok. 

“Climate Tracker highly values the significance of educating young and aspiring journalists in a region frequently afflicted by disasters about climate journalism,” Murillo said. 

Need for climate action

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice’ Fara Diva Gamalo discusses the fossil fuel expansion in the country.

Fara Diva Gamalo of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice tackled the drivers of climate change as well as its impacts such as stronger cyclones and rising sea levels. The session aimed to provide participants with a better understanding of climate challenges specific to Eastern Visayas and the urgency for action. 

Queenee Tisha Dela Cruz and Emstien Dizcar, members of Sudao Green Minds, discussed how climate change disproportionately affects marginalized communities and exacerbates existing inequalities. 

The former Climate Tracker fellows also highlighted movements that advocate for climate justice and shared their experiences participating in the organization’s program. 

“Stories are like knots that connect every aspect of our society. Maybe one out of four people who read your stories will change their life and help minimize the effects of climate change or even join the fight for climate justice and become one of the storytellers,” Dela Cruz said. 

“It is what we need right now—a pen that bleeds for the future generation,” she added.