Humanizing The Non Humans Final


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- 2009: National Youth Camp (sponsored by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Youth Commission)
- 2010: Smart Communications Online Journalism Seminar

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Humanizing The Non Humans Final

  1. 1. Advancing Environmental Advocacy Through Journalism Humanizing the Non-Humans MARK RAYGAN E. GARCIA
  2. 2. What do we humans have? <ul><li>Ability to speak </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to write </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to interact </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to gain access </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to make and unmake history </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do non-humans have? <ul><li>Themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Me? </li></ul><ul><li>You? </li></ul><ul><li>Us? </li></ul>
  4. 4. What SHOULD non-humans have? <ul><li>Themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Me. </li></ul><ul><li>You. </li></ul><ul><li>Us. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s journalism? <ul><ul><li>Information dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coverage of turn of events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation of realities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* Objective; without taking sides; without an attempt at personal interpretation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What’s environment? <ul><li>All of the biotic and abiotic factors that act on an organism, population, or ecological community and influence its survival and development. Biotic factors include the organisms themselves, their food, and their interactions. Abiotic factors include such items as sunlight, soil, air, water, climate, and pollution. Organisms respond to changes in their environment by evolutionary adaptations in form and behavior. ( ) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What’s environment, AGAIN? <ul><li>It’s where you and I live in. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s what survives us. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s who you genuinely care for, over what there is for you. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s when we see our future. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s how we live and value life. </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s environmental writing? <ul><li>Advocacy writing </li></ul><ul><li>Purposive writing </li></ul><ul><li>Writing with consciousness & a conscience </li></ul><ul><li>“ Biased” writing </li></ul>
  9. 9. What’s environmental writing? <ul><li>It’s humanizing the non-humans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speaking for the voiceless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing for the pen-less </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interacting for the motionless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representing the silent </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. How can we represent the silent? <ul><li>Listen with your heart </li></ul><ul><li>See with your conscience </li></ul><ul><li>Feel with good judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Decide with a sense of urgency </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Objectivity Debate <ul><li>Environmental Writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing beyond objectivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gets facts straight but writes them with feelings, with a purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Justice for the cops-and-court reporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good schools for the education reporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sound fiscal policies for the business reporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The best journalism reflects the pursuit of a cause.” </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Media Industry & Environmental Writing <ul><li>Collective Media: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide public image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shape public attitudes and actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Play a role in perception </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The Media Industry & Environmental Writing <ul><li>Media Industry Assessed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Circulation / Readership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertisements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Profit-driven </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. The Media Industry & Environmental Writing <ul><li>Environmental Writing Assessed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Labor-intensive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Space-consuming? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unattractive. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Effects of Conflict Between Media Interests & Environmental Advocacy <ul><li>Little or no space for environmental reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of reporting on ecological disturbances leading to actual news-worthy events (focus: conflict / calamities) </li></ul><ul><li>Waning interest in environmental reporting </li></ul><ul><li>Distorted / Unguided public decision making and policy formulations </li></ul>
  16. 16. Effect of Media Industry – Environmental Writing Partnership <ul><li>In the face of an “over-communicated society”… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates selection / choice of the right information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates problem solving (solution formulation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates increased awareness and informed choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates “activated” awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitates cooperation </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Environmental Writing: Way of Life <ul><li>Set of rules based on a consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>Self in relation to the world </li></ul><ul><li>Concept of social service </li></ul><ul><li>Voice to struggles and demands </li></ul><ul><li>Guided by honesty, credibility, and purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Involves risks and sacrifice </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Inverted Pyramid Important Not-so Important Least Important Important As Important Just as Important
  19. 19. The 5Ws and 1H <ul><li>What, When, Where, Who, Why </li></ul><ul><li>How </li></ul><ul><li>So what? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Whole” view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Species vs Animal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Home vs Father </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>School vs Student </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. But I’m not an expert! … Not even good at it. <ul><li>Who is? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you literally run out of your mother’s womb at birth? </li></ul><ul><li>… Not even good at it… YET </li></ul>
  21. 21. But I’m not an expert! … Not even good at it. <ul><li>“ It is not necessary to know them all, but the ability to ask questions and digest answers is a skill in itself, the basis of writing with breadth and perspective.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Michael Frome </li></ul><ul><li> Green Ink: An Introduction to Environmental Journalism </li></ul>
  22. 22. Points to Ponder Upon for Environmental Writer Wannabes <ul><li>It takes time </li></ul><ul><li>Be yourself (discipline / patience) </li></ul><ul><li>Assess your long-term goal (vis-à-vis what world you envision living in) </li></ul><ul><li>Allow room for mistakes (flexibility) </li></ul><ul><li>Dare to be fresh </li></ul><ul><li>Be open-minded (advice, please?) </li></ul><ul><li>Read (2 hrs writing = 24hrs reading) </li></ul><ul><li>Be affirmative & optimistic (focus on solutions) </li></ul><ul><li>Think & live environmentally </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperate with others </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivate a smile & good humor </li></ul><ul><li>Get outdoors </li></ul>
  23. 23. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Use simple examples when explaining complex or abstract ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The pressure placed by melting snow caps on the ocean is best observed when ice cubes melt in a glass of water and the water starts to overflow. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Describe the personalities of scientists and struggles they overcame in pursuing important discoveries. Make scientists human. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He was no different from an ordinary environmental lobbyist. It took him 25 years to convince what may be the toughest, and most powerful, recommendatory board to have the US sign the Kyoto Protocol. And yet even after losing what could have been millions of dollars in income to his cause, he continued to declare: “The battle is still not over; we only crossed the first leg of it. But at least there’s still time, no matter how little it may be.” </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Relate science to common experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decades ago, countries like Vietnam and Thailand came to the Philippines to learn about rice production. Now, the Philippines faces rice shortage, begging for the produce of countries that once regarded highly the Philippines for the product that needs them badly for. Nobody may have known that this will end this way. Just as most assume the world, despite the threat of climate change, will continue to be milk and honey to them. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Use language in creative and interesting ways. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The river flows, but its stream carries with it tears numb to the pains that man has caused it. If you listen, it cries out for help. It bears the marks of abuse. People do not realize that one day, they may well be floating with the reminders of their acts. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Use humor where appropriate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All eyes are now on bio-fuel as an alternative, in the face of rising prices of oil in the international market. The potentials in jethropa production are handsome. No wonder, despite his age, Meniong Teves still continues to rake in flirts from prospective investors. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Define terms likely to be unfamiliar to readers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative energy is a term used for some energy source that is an alternative to using fossil fuels. Generally, it indicates energies that are non-traditional and have low environmental impact. (wikipedia) </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Relate your topics to readers’ lives; draw broad conclusions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most households find little reason to be concerned about climate change. Most families worry about where to get money to place food on the table. But don’t they realize that climate change threatens the very source of this food, whether there is money to buy them. There is a need for people to view themselves beyond the four walls of their houses. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Tips on Covering Science <ul><li>Always remember your audience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Play around their interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do profiling (general assumption, but never underestimate) </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. The Social Media <ul><li>Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share opionions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.” </li></ul><ul><li>Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs. </li></ul>
  32. 32. The Social Media <ul><li>Facts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1999 2006 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>250,000 sites 80,000,000 sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>45 million users 1,000,000,000 users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Every day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- 100 million video views </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- 65,000 new videos added </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Let us look hot… just not literally BURNING hot!