Agroecology Course for Journalists and Communicators
Agriculture has multiple connections to critical aspects, such as food security, livelihoods, especially for the rural poor, ecosystems, climate change, and health, making it a crucial sector for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By 2050, the earth will need to feed close to 10 billion people. We must transform our agricultural and food systems, so they work with and not against nature. Agroecology, which can drastically reduce hunger and malnutrition, is the only approach that brings small-scale farmers closer to solving the current food sovereignty challenges mainly because it allows efficient resource use, reduces harmful external inputs, and improves soil health.
The transition to Agroecology is faced with many challenges; still, one of the most impactful is communication – knowing the power that media has in transforming society’s policies and practices, our campaigns haven’t prepared journalists and communicators for this significant role hence missing the mark.
Despite the commitment of small-scale farmers towards up-scaling Agroecology through practice change and policy influencing, the media, especially journalists and communicators, haven’t been highly active in shaping public opinion on Agroecology. Small-scale farmers believe that if the media adopted promoting Agroecology, the population would start consuming healthy food and expose the negative impact of industrial or conventional agriculture on the environment and health of citizens. This would also improve the general public health and incomes of small-scale farmers as more people would transition to consuming healthy foods which small-scale farmers produce.
These modules are designed to empower you into becoming the best Agroecology -focused journalist and communicator. At the end of each of these modules, an assessment will be conducted to measure your understanding of the module.
Module zero: Introduction to the course
This module will give you a comprehensive background and objectives of the course and set the ground for you to enjoy and understand the course better.
Module One: Introduction to the concept of Agroecology
This module will introduce you to the definition of Agroecology as a science, practice and movement and the historical perceptive of the concept including the key elements and principles of Agroecology. This module will also introduce you to the principles of Food Sovereignty and the actions taken by small-scale farmers to uphold these principles.
Module Two: Agroecology in practice
This module will give you a better understanding of Agroecological farming practices by small-scale farmers and the key benefits of Agroecology from a small-scale farmers’ perspective. The module will further create for you a clear picture of the challenges facing Agroecology upscaling ambitions in East Africa.
Module Three: Agroecology and sustainable food systems
This module is designed to increase your understanding of Agroecology and agriculture policies. During these sessions, you will learn how Agroecology can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other national and continental visions or goals. This module will justify to you the need for Agroecology to be integrated into all policies, strategies and laws, especially those focusing on the food systems.
This module will further substantiate the need for the protection of small-scale farmers’ rights to productive resources like land, seed, natural resources and markets in order to build strong and sustainable food systems.
Module Four: Communicating Agroecology
This unique module will teach you up-to-date techniques of communicating Agroecology as a journalist or communicator. It focuses on simple but effective skills for story identification, writing/documenting and platforms for publishing. This module will also discuss with you the challenges in reporting Agroecology and actions to mitigate these challenges.
During this module, we expect to have some journalists or communicators to motivate you. As part of this course, you will be required to write or document or report at least one Agroecology-related story.
Module Five: Agroecology movement
Now that you will be joining a big movement of promoters of Agroecology in East Africa, this module is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of Agroecology as a movement. The module will give you a perspective of the pushers and movers of Agroecology as well as the challenges and opportunities in the Agroecology movement in Africa. You will also learn your role as a journalist and communicator in strengthening the Agroecology movement in East Africa.
This course is open to all Journalists and Communicators. In this third cohort, the scholarship will cover 15 journalists and communicators from the East African Region who will get exclusive access to an interactive platform, stories that promote Agroecology, and other materials developed by different partners like publications and videos to build awareness of Agroecology and contribute to transitioning to Agroecology in the country.
COURSE DURATION AND LEARNING APPROACH
This course is designed to be completed in 12 weeks. The course offers a unique blended-learning approach, combining an in-person workshops with individual online study, practical field-based activities, and the chance to apply what you’re learning in your job.
The course begins with an online introductory workshop where 15 active journalists and communicators from across the East African Region will start their journey of learning about Agroecology and the latest techniques of reporting and communicating Agroecology . To ensure learning continues outside of workshops, participants will participate in bi-monthly webinars, carry out their writing projects, and have access to the online learning modules and materials.
At the conclusion of the 12 weeks, the journalists and communicators will have an in-person workshop in Kampala to share their experience and showcase their work and how they’ve advanced their knowledge. The journalists and communicators will also be exposed to the different Agroecological farming practices by small-scale farmers through the Agroecology Learning Journey.
During the 12 weeks course, journalists and communicators in the cohort will:
Receive a full scholarship for the course valued at USD 4,244.
Learn, Interact, and network with journalists and communicators from all over the country.
Get unlimited access to 50+ learning modules and support materials.
Interact with expert trainers who have facilitated high-level Agroecology training in Africa.
Earn a Certificate from the Agroecology School for Journalists and Communicators.
For the third cohort of the course, all applicants must be working with a registered media organization/company in East Africa. Applicants must be able to communicate in the English language because the course is conducted in English.
All selected participants will receive a full scholarship from the Agroecology School for Journalists and Communicators and Eastern and Southern Africa Small-scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) Uganda. The scholarship covers travel and lodging costs, field visit costs, internet, and course materials.
Participants who do not complete all course activities in the 12 weeks will not attend the Grand Finale and will not receive a certificate of completion.
Applications are assessed on the applicants’ eligibility as outlined above and an applicant’s relevance to the course objectives. You must show that:
You’re working for a registered media organization/company in East Africa.
You have a recommendation from your organization to participate in this course.
You’re committed to personal and professional growth and learning.
You are passionate and committed to learning about Agroecology.
APPLICATION TIMELINES - EXTENDED
Deadline for Applications: 29th September 2023
Notification of acceptance to Course: 10th October 2023
Beginning of the Course: 16th October 2023
HOW TO APPLY
This cohort of the course is only open to journalists and communicators in East Africa. Before you apply please read the information pack to understand whether you are eligible for this course.
To apply, please fill this Application Form