Falmouth University: Reporting Earth

Falmouth University: Reporting Earth
Reporting Earth generated actionable ideas for reporting the climate crisis for young people. Image Source: Falmouth University 

Reporting Earth was a one-day, online Journalism summit held on 21 September 2021, a week ahead of the Youth Summit of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), to share best practice and generate actionable ideas for reporting the climate crisis for young people.

The Reporting Earth scheme’s judging panel sifted through an extraordinarily rich and innovative range of projects - but after a difficult selection process, Falmouth judges, including Climate Home News Editor Megan Darby, awarded journalists in Africa, India, Germany and the UK bursaries and professional mentoring.

These journalists then workshopped their ideas with media lab Fathm, ahead of a pitch session to Environment Editors including Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark.

Here's how the Knowledge Exchange (KE) activity unfolded...

KE Activity Type

Public Programme- Online Event & Knowledge Sharing Network

KE Activity Team

Ashlie Brown, Kate De Pury, Paul Springer, Huw Lewis Jones, Fergus Bell, Dan Baker, Camilla Kjaernet      

KE Activity Partner

Fathm: A news lab, agency and consultancy, founded in 2019 by Fergus Bell and Tom Trewinnard.

As Fergus states:

''Working with an institution committed to both high quality journalism and the highlighting of core issues around the climate crisis was a great experience for Fathm. When we brought the concept of Reporting Earth to Falmouth it was quickly embraced and we were able to work collaboratively to build out the idea into something that was both tangible and had impact.''

Guest speakers from:

Exeter University, Arctic Basecamp, Al Jazeera, Climate Home News, Euronews, Rise Up, Euractiv, Met Office, ClimateTracker.org, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, The Boulder Reporting Lab, Inside Climate News, Vice News

What went into the activity? 

375 Staff Hours
22 speakers signed up to deliver a presentation

What outputs did the activity generate?

125 individual attendees across the day
5 presentations from mentorship/bursary winners
3 speaker panels
10 key speakers

Bursary winners

                               🌎Alis Okonji: InfoNile🌎

       🌎Ashana Mathur and Ashoka University India students: Grassroots Network project🌎

                  🌎Pauline Blanchet: Through Her Eyes🌎

  🌎Rhianna Ilube, in collaboration with Josephine and Linda                                 Huetlin: Climate Game Camp 🌎

          🌎Nadia Leigh-Hewitson: Great Big Climate Map🌎

Social Reach: Twitter

Number of impressions (the amount of times the hash tagged content was seen) was 316,265
Number of unique mentions was 235


We interviewed Falmouth University Project Officer Ashlie Brown and Director of the Falmouth University School of Communication Professor Paul Springer about this incredible Knowledge Exchange activity.

Here are their insights:

"Reporting Earth a ‘very Falmouth’ project, by which we mean the issues of sustainability and ecology register high in our students’ values.

Given where we are in the UK, and our exposure to climate change, it is a cause that we have a vested interest in.

We also have a fantastic network of contacts in this field so we saw this as an appropriate moment to bring many of them together."

Do you think universities should continue Knowledge Exchange projects such as these? If so- why?

''Absolutely. Universities have a responsibility to shape the challenges that face us and generate new knowledge, in partnership with experts and the industries that we work with.

This is one of the main ways that change is made, and universities' have the capacity and skills to lead on challenges exactly like Reporting Earth.''

We also caught up with Fathm Co-Founder Fergus Bell to evaluate his experience of collaborating with Falmouth University:

''Working in an agile way with partners who can grasp and share a common vision is rare, but we found it with the team at Falmouth. This initiative was the first of its kind, and the impact of the conference itself and the bursary programme that supported new ideas continues to live on well beyond the events themselves.

The programme has led to the development of brand new innovations in climate reporting in different parts of the world.''
If your university has an insightful Knowledge Exchange case study to share, let us know!


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