Adeolu Adekola to lead CIJ’s Open Climate Reporting Initiative
Former Senior Programme Officer at the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Adeolu Adekola has been appointed Project Manager for the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) in London.
This is a new post created to oversee a two-year programme of training in investigative skills with the aim of raising the standard of climate-focused investigations. There will be a particular focus on practices that are contributing to the climate crisis, enabling thoroughly researched public interest reporting and evidence-based advocacy.
On the new appointment the CIJ’s Deputy Director, Tom Sanderson said “We are delighted to welcome Adeolu to the team. It’s been an incredibly competitive recruitment process, but Adeolu’s experience, network and wide range of skills make him the perfect candidate to lead this programme and ensure it delivers on our aims in transformative ways.”
The project – The Open Climate Reporting Initiative (OCRI) – is a global programme of training aimed at journalists, activists, NGOs and CSOs. This is the first time the CIJ has embarked on training around a specific theme: “our training provision has always been hands-on, practical and applicable to the full range of issues that require investigation and public-interest reporting at all levels,” explained Sanderson.
“However, we feel that the sheer scale of the current climate crisis requires a sharpening of focus, and this programme will aim to bring the skills we specialise in – data journalism, financial investigation, open-source intelligence, and source protection – to those who have borne witness to the impacts of the climate crisis for many years now.”
Commenting on his appointment, Adekola expressed optimism that the project will shed more light about the climate crisis across regions for stakeholder action. He said “The impact of climate change in the next few years, if proper steps are not taken, will be detrimental to human existence. The OCRI implemented by the CIJ will contribute immensely to asking the difficult questions that need answers and I am thrilled to be joining a team of great minds.”
Working from his home town of Lagos, Nigeria, Adekola is uniquely placed to understand first-hand the effects of climate change. In his first interview in his new role – for the BBC’s World Service Radio’s Weekend Programme – he explained:
“Lagos, if care is not taken – having a very fragile coastline – the impact of flooding and climate change and global warming will be very huge”
“In July, for example, this year, there was massive flooding, with about 4,000 residents in Lagos displaced”
You can hear the interview in full.
The project is funded by Quadrature Climate Foundation, to provide a two-year programme of training in six global regions. By working on the frontline of exposing activities that exacerbate climate change, OCRI will provide the skills to examine and question the structures in place at an international level that may be facilitating harmful activities, and teach delegates how to tell these stories in a way that is compelling and accessible to a general audience.
This project will provide the necessary tools, techniques and expertise to those working at the sharp end of climate change to investigate and expose wrongdoing; research and quantify accurate pictures of the situation and the impact of other efforts; and craft meaningful stories which garner support for changes in policy, regulation or economic actors’ decisions.