Climate change will be a bigger test for newsroom leaders than Covid-19: President of the World Editors Forum, Singapore News & Top Stories
SINGAPORE – Beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change will become an even bigger challenge for newsroom leaders, to cover well, in various areas ranging from environmental impact to political impact, has said World Editors Forum (WEF) President Warren Fernandez.
“This is the crisis of our generation,” said Fernandez, editor of the Straits Times and editor of the English / Malay / Tamil media group of Singapore Press Holdings.
“If we saw in Covid-19 how difficult it is to get communities, governments and societies to support a solution, I think climate change is going to show how much more difficult it is going to be. C This is where newsrooms come in. “
Fernandez was speaking to 28 editors and journalists on Monday, July 5 at the start of the second Young Media Leaders Fellowship program, an initiative of the Asia section of the WEF as part of the World Association of News Editors .
The six-month program, supported by the Temasek Foundation, aims to train the next generation of media leaders through professional development and networking opportunities. It will mostly take place through online platforms due to the ongoing pandemic, but could see participants meet physically in Singapore next January if conditions allow.
Participants come from 19 publications across Asia, including The Straits Times. Among them are ST deputy editor Lim Yan Liang, Berita Harian Atiyyah Mohd Said correspondent and Tamil Murasu, Tamilavel news and digital editor, who has only one name.
For the past 18 months, journalists have been busy reporting news about the coronavirus, which remains a major problem in many parts of Asia, said Fernandez, who had raised the idea of the scholarship program. It received its first batch of participants last year.
“We may be tired and tired with Covid-19, but this virus is not done with us. I think it has a lot more twists and turns in the story, which will continue to play out. The challenge for all of us in our newsrooms this is really how to keep covering this story well despite the toll it takes on all of us, ”he noted.
In his opening remarks, Fernandez also touched on how emerging young newsroom leaders can play their part in shaping the way forward and securing the future of their newsrooms, even as their newsrooms progress. technology and the Internet have seriously disrupted the information industry.
He called on program participants to make the most of the opportunity to share their experiences, learn from each other, and think about what they could do to help their writing move forward.
Over the next six months, participants, from 11 Asian countries and territories, will exchange ideas and learn to lead in an industry transformed by technology.
On Monday, they started a five-day virtual workshop, which will cover topics such as the challenges facing the media scene, work culture, mental well-being and dealing with millennials in the newsroom.
They will also attend the Digital Media Asia virtual conference next month, plan activities and stories to mark World Information Day on September 28, and gather in Singapore next January for the program finale if travel conditions allow it.
Mr. Benedict Cheong, Managing Director of Temasek Foundation International, said developing the leadership skills of media executives must be a priority.
“In this age of disruption, every organization will have to be nimble and agile to meet the challenges, navigate this playground that we have, which is now more complex and uncertain,” he said.