plastics media
Close-up of a clear plastic bottle floating in the shallow end of a river. Photo: Ivan Radic/Wikimedia Commons.

#MyFellowshipExperience: What I learned from my media research on plastics as a non-journalist

Through my day job at the National Secretariat for Marine Debris Handling of Indonesia, I can say that I am familiar with the plastics issue in the country, but not so much with how Indonesian media has been covering it. 

Media coverage certainly plays a crucial role in raising awareness and changing the behavior of society toward single-use plastic. That’s why I was intrigued when I got the news that Climate Tracker was opening an application for media research on single-use plastic coverage in South East Asia. I braved myself to apply for the fellowship and, luckily, I was accepted!

The fellowship and the training given before it were very productive. I admit that being the only one without a journalistic background made me a little insecure. But thanks to the Climate Tracker team, this fellowship was an exciting learning process. 

The training curriculum was made to accommodate all of us, even those without journalistic knowledge. We learned the basics of content analysis, framing analysis, and also interviewing sources, among other skills.

Read more: The Plastic Pandemic in Southeast Asia [report]

From this fellowship, I particularly enjoyed interviewing the editors and journalists from the news outlets. I am overjoyed to know that they are in solidarity with us for combating plastic waste and to learn their unique roles as journalists in this war against plastic. 

They do have their obstacles and challenges in reporting news on single-use plastic, but I remembered what Sunarti, editor-in-chief of Kalimantan Post, said: “There is a responsibility in protecting the environment. If it is not us [who are reporting about the negative impact of single-use plastic], who else will?”

Want to learn more about media coverage of plastics in Southeast Asia? Check out our full report and tune into our podcast ⬇️⬇️.This was made possible due to our partnership with Break Free from Plastic.