Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

By Jacqueline Nyingchia

David Akana, the program director of Mongaby Africa, has encouraged reporters to develop higher-quality environmental stories given that funding is available for investigative and field reporting.

Speaking at an event called Café Science, held at the Rue Cas Negre in Yaounde and organized by SciLife, the Cameroon Association of Science Journalists and Communicators, in collaboration with the African Network of Health and Environment Journalists, was the Mongabay Africa Boss. Cafe Science is a SciLife event that brings journalists and scientists from different domains together to discuss pressing issues in science, health, and the environment.

On the occasion, Akana stated, “We know that most newsrooms are facing serious budgetary shortfalls, which means that while most journalists aspire to do in-depth reporting and investigations, they frequently lack the resources to do so. Therefore, we needed to restate that there are several ways in which we can work together to produce impact reports to prompt policy change.”

Such reports, he stressed, would significantly contribute to the body of knowledge that policymakers and decision-makers in different ministries will need to combat environmental challenges and make better judgments.

Presenting Mongabay’s expansion mission and vision in Africa, Akana traced how Mongabay started as a one-man’s love for nature. Mongabay has now expanded to create an African Bureau in 2023.

Mongabay Africa Bureau seeks to grow the number of staff and freelance journalists who would produce long-form features in different formats: radio (podcasts), texts, and multimedia.

Line Renee Batongue, Scilife’s acting president, stressed the financial pitfalls that stall environmental reporting and urged journalists to take advantage of the opportunity Mongabay offers to accompany journalists. The finality of the meeting is a platform for journalists who invest in environmental reporting and produce stories that could level with other envied reports. She stressed that journalists promote science, health, and the environment.

Mongabay is an American news portal dedicated to conservation news. It covers stories on energy, green architecture, and environmental research. It also has a wealth of information on tropical rainforests and global deforestation data.

Mongabay Boss, Rhett Butler, is the recipient of numerous accolades in the fields of journalism, conservation, and the environment, including the Heinz Award for the Environment in 2022, the SEAL Environmental Journalism Award in 2021, and the Parker-Gentry Award from the Field Museum of Natural History in 2014. Recently, Mongabay scooped the 2023 Biophilia prestigious award for its “outstanding track record” in communicating issues related to nature and biodiversity, especially in countries in the Global South. On Feb. 19, 2024, Mongabay attended the Biophilia Award ceremony at the BBVA Foundation in Madrid, Spain.

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