In 2022, we built stronger and broader networks across Latin America through tailor made training and a range of new opportunities for journalists looking to report on climate justice across the region.
After years of working across the region, 2022 was a year of tremendous growth. We have now well and truly built a dynamic network of environmental and climate journalists across the region, who are publishing incredible stories highlighting the climate and ecological crisis unfolding across the region.
From Brazil to Bolivia, Chile to Costa Rica, Paraguay to Panama, Argentina and Ecuador, our network has both expanded and strengthened this year, and I am incredibly proud of the investigations and stories we have been able to support this year.
Over the last 12 months, we ran 10 regional journalism mentorship programs, completed a continental Media analysis, expanded our core team, launched a new website, newsletter, Podcast and we’re now on Tik Tok.
It’s been a big year.
But I am also proud of the way we have expanded. We have a beautifully diverse team, and have built a truly regional network that has already seen incredible cross-country collaborations this year.
This year we supported journalists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Thanks to our expansion, we were also able to deliver training on truly local and regional challenges that simply aren’t available anywhere else. This included journalism training on key elections in 2022 and how they impact climate change, data journalism workshops using locally relevant data and science journalism workshops focussed on embedding local context within science communication. We also ran regionally specific training programs in Spanish on how to cover a COP and explore the links between climate and migration.
Our programs are also becoming more popular. We had more than 700 journalists from Latin America apply for our opportunities this year, with our most popular countries being Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The energy transition in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Escazú Agreement, the constituent process in Chile and COP27 were the main focus of our mentoring programs.
In total, 124 journalistic products were published with the editorial and financial support of Climate Tracker Latin America, republished in high impact media throughout the region.
We also supported the expansion of Climate Tracker’s Caribbean programs, which we are so proud to see expanding our work in the region.
Media analysis to build a better journalism
In our journey as an organization, we realized that it was urgent to have a clear picture of the situation of Latin American journalists covering the climate crisis. That is why we designed an unprecedented media analysis for the Latin American region, based on two questions: How do Latin American media cover the energy transition? And why do they do it that way?
The result -available in the report “¿América Latina Renovable? A look at the energy transition from the newsrooms” – reinforces the urgency of our work.
Through the research, we analyzed more than 1,200 stories looking at the energy transition across the region. These stories were pooled from 36 different media outlets across Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
We found that the energy transition is largely being covered as an economic issue across the region, and that the limited number of reporters focusing on this topic are often excluding the health, gender, ecological and community-based complexities of the issue. We also found that most of these reporters are men, and many of these reporters bring a negative framing to the energy transition.
It is urgent that newsrooms make coverage of the climate crisis a priority. We know that we are still far from an ideal situation and we will try to continue supporting journalists on this path.
This work, with which we kicked off the year, was the starting point for what we hoped to be the growth of a community of Latin American journalists dedicated to environment and climate change issues and the expansion of our platforms to new formats and digital narratives.
A journalistic platform from and for Latin America
In July, we launched the Climate Tracker Latin America website. Since then, our site has become a repository of stories, tools and opportunities to advance climate journalism in our region.
Our website now features an unprecedented repository of resources to facilitate coverage of the climate and ecological crisis. These are tools, materials, explanatory guides, reference articles and a constantly updated bibliography.
We recognise that reporting on climate change is a complex task, and that is why we designed the repository with first-timers and emerging journalists in mind, hoping to provide guides on reporting issues like carbon neutrality, just transition, climate finance, and health impacts of fossil fuels.
We hope to build many more next year.
Cultivating Community across the region
Building a community implies, of course, the active and participatory involvement of its members. That is why during the year we designed multiple spaces for exchange that, on many occasions, ended up becoming journalistic content for multiple formats.
From conducting five focus groups where we discussed with journalists how to improve coverage of the energy transition, to active WhatsApp and Telegram communities, Latin American journalists became an active part of our products.
We designed and launched the weekly newsletter Click Climático, whose mission is to share stories and news in Spanish every Friday, as well as tools, resources and opportunities for journalists in this vast territory called Latin America. We also include recommendations for series, movies and books, as well as an image of the week to inspire you or call you to action.
To date, Click Climático bears the seal of Climate Tracker’s Latin American team and more than twenty contributors from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, among other countries, who tell you what you need to know.
Training and ongoing learning
Journalists need constant training. Therefore, throughout the year we design spaces for conversation and learning with our peers, experts and communities to analyze different aspects of our work and the current environmental issues in the region.
From how to view the Latin American election year from a climate lens, data journalism workshops for energy stories, argumentative journalism workshops to improve our science communication, how to cover a COP and exploring the links between climate and migration.
New narratives for new audiences
At Climate Tracker we are convinced that quality journalism has no pre-established format or preference. Because if storytelling is what brought us to this field, we cannot limit ourselves to the way we do it.
This 2022 we expand our narrative frontiers, and kicked off a new podcast, Micrófono Climático. Each episode partners our Colombian team member, Esteban Tavera, in conversation with one of our incredible journalists, and gives you a unique insight into how the climate crisis is unfolding across the region. You can listen to all of our episodes on Spotify, Anchor and Apple.
A new brand and a New Tik Tok
This year we also renewed our regional brand, incorporating visual elements that bring us a little closer to a Latin American identity. With this, we added a series of graphics, infographics and other visual ways of communicating climate change through our Instagram.
In the same way, and being aware that new audiences have the right to quality information in attractive and adaptable formats, we started our own TikTok channel, led by the incredible Angela Meza. Check it out for new insights on regional environmental issues, the latest climate data from the region and stories from across our community.
This is a new approach for Climate Tracker, and something you’ll see a lot more of in the new year.
Despite all this growth, our mentoring programs remain at the heart of Climate Tracker’s work.
Through 10 special climate journalism projects, we supported 54 young communicators in developing their professional careers.
The energy transition in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Escazú Agreement, the constituent process in Chile and COP27 were the main focus of our mentoring programs. In total, 124 journalistic products were published with the editorial and financial support of Climate Tracker Latin America, republished in high impact media throughout the region.
You can learn all the details of this work and the impact generated by this large community of journalists in this link.
For those who know us and follow our work, you know that in recent years the presence and impact of Climate Tracker Latin America is growing.
We are convinced that our growth is a reflection of the immense need for more support in environmental journalism across Latin America.
We are driven to build this ecosystem next year, and continue to support the incredible hard work of journalists across the region.
Today we can say that we have a broad presence in our region. This year we worked with journalists from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
They are the ones who drive and make up this growing community.
With the current climate, energy and economic crises unfolding across the region, it has never been more urgent for journalists to sharpen their skills and abilities to communicate clearly and accurately.
However, the media landscape in Latin America offers very few opportunities for regional collaboration, information sharing and support.
While we cannot change this situation completely, we believe that throughout the year we were able to boost the careers of a number of powerful young journalists, and supported newsrooms across the continent with a platform that provides the context, the network and opportunities for ongoing collaboration and engagement into the new year.
In 2023, we will continue to expand our team, our regional media research, mentoring and grant opportunities for journalists. We know that the climate crisis isn’t going anywhere, but we are inspired everyday by the incredible work of young journalists who want to cover it.
We believe in their work, and we want to thank everyone who has believed in us this year.
Thank you for your trust, for your support and for all your hard work.