National Geographic Society Newsroom

Citizen Eco-Reporters: A Community-Based Journalism Initiative

One of the key ways that the IZILWANE media platform builds awareness and creates community around the issue of biodiversity loss is by engaging people on this issue through their own work as “eco-reporters.” We train those who want to write for us as “citizen journalists,” honing their communication skills and their understanding of ecological...

Photo Courtesy of Kira Johnson

One of the key ways that the IZILWANE media platform builds awareness and creates community around the issue of biodiversity loss is by engaging people on this issue through their own work as “eco-reporters.” We train those who want to write for us as “citizen journalists,” honing their communication skills and their understanding of ecological and anthropological issues.

Many of IZILWANE’s contributors are not professional journalists; hence, our staff, and in particular our editors, act as trainers and spend time teaching our contributors how to create quality articles, photo and video essays, and podcasts. We have positioned IZILWANE to be a leader in “earth journalism.”

For those who are not yet ready to be a serious eco-reporter, we offer the option of uploading stories on our blog. All blog uploads must be accepted and are edited by our staff, which results in engaging the eco-reporter in the media process. We believe that participating in eco-journalism builds a social network of people who become more engaged as biodiversity advocates. Many college and graduate students have been using this eco-reporting opportunity as a stepping stone to becoming environmental journalists and biodiversity advocates.

Photo Courtesy of Kira Johnson

Ultimately, we envision pods of eco-reporters of all ages living around the world engaged in multimedia outreach on the topic of biodiversity and human ecology. We already have interest from potential contributors in Colombia, South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda, Japan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, as well as the USA.

If you’re interested in contributing to IZILWANE as a citizen eco-reporter, visit our Get Involved page to explore how!

 

— Kathryn Pardo

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Meet the Author

Voices for Biodiversity
Voices for Biodiversity (V4B) is an online conservation media magazine that shares the stories of people from around the globe in order to help all species survive and thrive together. The e-zine is a gathering place for those who believe that humanity’s health and well-being depend upon the health and well-being of other species and the ecosystems that support us all. Voices for Biodiversity shares the stories of eco-reporters from around the world, using the ancient human art of storytelling to connect people with each other, other species, and the natural world. The magazine’s goal is to alter human behavior in such a way as to connect the human animal with the global ecosystem in order to stem biodiversity loss and arrest the sixth extinction of species taking place in this time, the Age of the Anthropocene.