Letting the earth be heard through radio broadcasting

The Department of Education-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DepEd-DRRMS) and the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ), in partnership with World Vision Development Foundation, recently conducted an eight-week intensive online radio broadcasting training for school advisers and campus journalists.

The Green Beat Initiative Plus (TGBI+) is the second phase of the program launched in 2020 that equipped faculty and students with skills necessary to write stories related to environment protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation. For this phase, TGBI+ focused on radio broadcasting.

“Ang misyon po namin para sa lahat, at paulit-ulit namin itong sinasabi, #LetTheEarthBeHeard. We literally let the earth be heard through the second cycle of TGBI,” shared AYEJ Executive Director Val Amiel Vestil.

TGBI+ aimed to capacitate school advisers and students to develop radio magazine shows and raise their understanding of the principles, practices, and techniques in environmental journalism.

Remote Learning Approach

From the list of participants in last year’s cycle,16 school paper advisers were selected to join the second phase.

Radio broadcasting experts trained the advisers through asynchronous learning materials like video lectures, module videos, reading assignments, reflection journals, formative assessments, and guided activities. The trained school advisers then coached and mentored their students during synchronous learning sessions.

Amazed by everyone’s outputs, Ramiha, a Grade 10 student from Meycauayan National Highschool, encouraged her fellow TGBI+ learners to continue using their skills to share vital information that would positively impact the environment. “Hope is one thing we should never lose in our mission to save our planet. It’s our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us but for all life on earth,” said Ramiha during TGBI+’s Completion Ceremony.

A total of 16 radio magazine episodes were produced by the participants from Navotas, Makati, Parañaque, Quezon City, Malabon, Las Piñas, Dasmariñas, Biñan, Laguna, Imus, Cavite, Mabalacat, Meycauayan, Gapan, and Pampanga. The radio magazine episodes will be aired over local community radio stations and will be streamed as podcasts on Spotify.

The completers were inducted into the TGBI Alumni Community, a network providing further resources and opportunities in climate change interventions and environmental journalism.

Youth as change-makers

“The face of the climate crisis is getting worse, but we want the youth’s stories to be the face of hope and inspiration. Your stories about the impacts of climate change and the communities’ adaptation and mitigation can spark hope amidst the grim future that this climate crisis holds for the world,” says DepEd-DRRMS Director Ronilda Co.

The Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Adverse effects are already being felt in the forms of stronger typhoons, intense dry seasons, changes in rainfall patterns, and storm surges that can affect a huge portion of the coastal population in the country. Climate change also affects agriculture and fishing, two primary livelihoods in the Philippines.

Climate change affects everyone, but it is the children who are particularly vulnerable to its impacts. It threatens children’s survival, development, nutrition, education, and access to health care, but AYEJ, DepEd-DRRMS, and World Vision refuse to believe that the youth and children are mere victims. Elevating their voices and engaging them in discussions about the climate crisis can empower and transform them into leaders and advocates who can turn the situation around.

“The Green Beat Initiative Plus is a significant example of how we can engage the youth in our advocacies using the broadcast media. Radio remains a powerful tool, and combined with the brilliant ideas of our children, we believe that this platform would help us mobilize more people to join us in our cause. Together with AYEJ and DepEd-DRRMS, World Vision will continue to protect the environment and promote the right of every child to live in safe, clean, and sustainable planet,” says PHINLA Project Coordinator John Benedict Asuncion.