CNN Academy Abu Dhabi welcomed its third cohort of students on Friday 22nd September, leading with a climate reporting masterclass from Chief Climate Correspondent, Bill Weir moderated by Becky Anderson, Managing Editor, CNN Abu Dhabi, and Anchor.
The interactive session, hosted at the Yas Creative Hub, explored how to engage audiences, the importance of science, informing people about solutions to environmental challenges, and looking ahead to COP 28. It marked the beginning of a 12-week journalism training course, which will have an emphasis on climate storytelling and provide unrivalled access to experts from the world’s leading news organisation.
To date, 46 participants have been trained through CNN Academy Abu Dhabi, including 22 Emiratis.
The latest group of 30 participants for CNN Academy Abu Dhabi includes 16 Emiratis and 14 UAE residents from 12 different countries, including Egypt, France, India and Syria. They will join weekly live workshops from CNN Abu Dhabi staff plus weekly masterclasses delivered by professionals around the world. These will be hosted at The Community Hub, part of twofour54’s Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi, which is adjacent to the CNN bureau.
The Academicians will have access to extensive media technology facilities, equipment, infrastructure and student liaison support from the creative lab, part of the talent development division of Creative Media Authority and Abu Dhabi’s content champion. Digital learning will also take place via the custom-built CNN Academy hub, which features a wealth of learning resources created by CNN’s global anchors, reporters, production, and technical teams. The extensive course will equip the aspiring journalists and content creators with valuable media industry skills.
The programme will culminate in the second annual CNN Academy Newsroom Simulation. This will be held this year against the backdrop of COP 28, from December 3rd to 10th, where the participants from the CNN Academy Abu Dhabi group will also be joined by participants from other CNN Academy programmes taking place across the globe.
Becky Anderson, Anchor & Managing Editor, CNN Abu Dhabi, said: “With COP 28 almost upon us, and during a year in which we have seen some incredibly dramatic and alarming climate stories, there could scarcely be a more important moment to bring climate storytelling into focus. CNN’s Climate Unit has been on the frontline of so many of these stories, so to have Bill Weir address this group was a fantastic opportunity. He is a consummate storyteller, with deep knowledge of the science behind the climate crisis as well as first-hand experience of reporting in extreme environments and the devastating aftermath of climate-related disasters. It was the perfect way to begin our 12-week CNN Academy training, and I’m sure it will have been as inspiring for our Academicians as it was for me.”
Alia AlZaabi, Finance Student, Zayed University said “Day one at CNN Academy Abu Dhabi felt like a ‘right place, right time’ moment. As the UAE preps to host COP 28, I’m not just learning to tell a story; I’m learning to tell the story of the greatest existential crisis of our time. We went beyond creating catchy content and into ethical journalism and its role in creating informed communities. This not only meets but also exceeds the expectations I had walking in.”