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Reporting on Crises and Disasters Training Programme

Status: Closed

  • Training & education

Organisation: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Deadline: 17/11/2023

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is offering journalists an opportunity to expand their expertise in reporting about humanitarian crises and disasters triggered by natural hazards.

Drawing on contemporary best practices of reporting and writing, the course will focus on how to cover a crisis or disaster while working with multiple and complex sources, and using mobile and online journalism skills.

During crises and disasters, the media’s role in covering, explaining and providing accurate news and information to the public is critical. This workshop will review the main challenges and techniques involved in covering international-scale crises and disasters, using Reuters and other global news organisations as a model.

Through briefings, practical writing exercises against deadlines and forays into multimedia reporting, the course will help journalists improve their skills and recognise problem areas, within an interactive group environment. It will explore the logistical challenges of reporting in crisis zones and look at ways to serve the information needs of disaster-affected populations as well as wider audiences.

Who can apply?

  • Applicants must be journalists who are nationals of and working in Sri Lanka. They must be able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in journalism, with a minimum of two years’ professional experience.
  • Female journalists are highly encouraged to apply to this training.
  • If applicants are not full-time staff members, they should be able to demonstrate considerable experience as a freelancer, including recent publications with client organisations.
  • All applicants who work for a news outlet as a full-time employee will also need a letter of support from their editors.
  • Please note: This programme is open to English-speaking journalists.

Course Logistics

  • The training will be delivered in person in Colombo, Sri Lanka, over three days, beginning on 4 December and ending on 6 December. There will be instructor-facilitated group sessions with a lead trainer and a co-trainer, interspersed with individual or group tasks.
  • Participants will also hear from subject matter experts on a range of issues related to working in complex humanitarian crises or disaster triggered by natural hazards.
  • During the three days of training, participants will be able to share their story ideas with the TRF trainers to receive guidance and feedback.
  • On completion of the course, successful participants will receive a certificate from TRF and ADB.


This programme will help journalists to:

  • Find, verify, and share reliable information for disaster-affected communities in a breaking news situation involving a crisis or disaster.
  • Identify and verify reliable news sources in an emergency.
  • Structure a fast-moving ongoing story for local and international audiences.
  • Write clear, simple, and editorially balanced copy under pressure.
  • Edit stories about a crisis or disaster.
  • Conduct informative, accurate interviews with emergency relief services and disaster-affected individuals.
  • Engage effectively with audiences and sources.
  • Apply a ‘solutions journalism’ approach to crisis and disaster journalism and use this approach to identify and produce follow-up stories about disaster recovery.

Learn more and apply here.

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