Centre for Science and Environment’s bonds with media – journalists, news and feature publications, media houses etc – go back almost to the days of its infancy. CSE’s founder-director, the late Anil Agarwal, himself a journalist, well appreciated the role that media could play in carrying CSE’s voice and message to the world outside. From that appreciation has emerged an enduring relationship over the years, sustained by a belief and understanding that media is one of the key ‘multiplier’ communities which support CSE’s work. We believe that the mass media can help in analysing the linkages between environment and development, spark debates on crucial issues, and lead to positive change.
The CSE Media Resource Centre (MRC) is the primary agency whose task it is to nurture and build on this relationship. For ensuring better and strategically more effective impact, the MRC works in close coordination with other communications teams in CSE. Over the years, it has developed a well-structured portfolio of programmes whose main aim is to build capacity of journalists, writers and communicators to understand issues of science, environment and development, and write/communicate about them in an informed manner. The portfolio includes media fellowships granted regularly to journalists in India and Africa; press briefings and conferences organized for the benefit of mainstream, regional and local media in India, as well as workshops for African journalists; and training programmes for young journalists and students of journalism and communication.
The MRC acts as the Centre’s primary outreach team. Besides managing the capacity-building initiatives, it also functions as a one-stop resource base for journalists looking for information on all issues of environment and development. The MRC’s weekly press releases reach a media database of close to 4,000 journalists; every day, it caters to numerous requests for information, interviews and opinion pieces/articles; it sends out a CSE newsletter every fortnight to thousands of subscribers across the globe.