climate change headlines

Climate Change Communication Training

30 October 2020

Over the last two years the Society has been working alongside broadcasters and climate scientists to deliver climate change communication training for broadcast meteorologists, producers and regional reporters from ITV, BBC and Sky. These day-long courses aim to refresh and deepen the knowledge to develop a wider understanding of climate science, causes of climate change, climate modelling, and the social and economic impacts of climate change.

As well as providing guidance on where to find reliable and up-to-date information; the aim of the training is to ensure broadcast meteorologists have the knowledge to answer (often difficult) climate related questions. Alongside this, we aim to support journalists in reporting accurately and effectively on climate change at a local level, making it relevant to their audience.

At the start of the year, before COVID-19 restrictions, the team travelled to Media City in Salford to run the course with 14 BBC regional broadcast meteorologists. With further training in the pipeline for 2020, the Society worked closely with ITV and Sky to find a suitable solution to continue the courses in a virtual environment.

At the start of October, we successfully delivered a virtual training day to nine people in the Sky weather department and members of the news team, and in October we worked with the Grantham Institute to extend and tailor the course to 12 ITV regional journalists.

Professor Liz Bentley, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, said:

“We have now carried out nine Climate Change Communication Training courses and I have thoroughly enjoyed each session. The courses are designed to be interactive, with discussion and exercises helping the delegates to learn by sharing experiences and to take an active role in their learning. What really excites me after each course is that we see more confidence in the presenters and reporters in discussing climate in relation to weather events and ultimately we are seeing more factual reporting around climate change in a way that is accessible to a general audience.”

Kirsty McCabe, Weather Producer and Presenter at Sky News commented:

The training was well structured and interesting, tailored to match our needs and great care was put into delivering it virtually. We now feel armed with all the most up-to-date information.”

Matt Taylor, BBC Broadcast Meteorologist said:

“It was an immensely engaging and interactive course that explored every aspect of climate change. Through real environmental examples and references to past climate it helped give us ways to communicate the facts”

Our hope is to continue to provide top-up courses in the coming years.