You can download a Microsoft Word version of this document here: How to Create a Climate Report
You are going to produce a written report ideally with photos, a short video or audio podcast on topic or activity related to climate change happening in or near Coventry.
See “Writing Your Report” for what is normally included in a news report.
The aim could be to let people know about what is already happening in the city or what else people want to happen, or what has already been tried and failed.
Hopefully this information will help to contribute to the public debate on the city’s future climate strategy.
How to Begin Your Report
Identify a Climate-Related Area
CovCAN or the United Nations Association Coventry can give you a lead, or you could do some research to identify a topic you want to investigate. This could be a local business, project, group or individual. Or it could be a broader theme, such as the public’s attitude to climate change, perhaps targeted at a specific age-range or area.
Search on the Internet for information about the area you will be investigating.
Start to make notes and write questions which you want to answer.
How does the topic you are researching link to the wider issue of climate change?
What difference will it make to the carbon emissions of the city and the country?
What effect will it have on the daily lives of the people of the city?
What is the cost and is the result value for money?
Can you think of any alternative actions that people could be taking to solve the same problem?
Hearing People’s Voices
It’s always best to bring a topic to life by hearing the voices of people. These could be experts in the area but you can also include the opinions of people in the street.
Before you start an interview you should have some questions you want to find answers to.
Diversity of Voices
Don’t just talk to one person. Try to get a range of voices and opinions on the topic. Is the topic controversial? Can you find people who have valid objections to the project?
Are people making any assumptions on this topic and are they valid?
Conduct an Interview
If you are interviewing someone with special knowledge on a subject, it’s best to go to visit them and see the work they are doing.
Try to put the person at ease before the interview begins. Take an interest in their work and their career.
Remember that the reader of your report will not know the subject as well as you do (after the research you have done). So you need to ask the sort of questions that the man in the street might ask.
Don’t be limited by the questions you have prepared. A good interview is like a conversation. Be prepared to explore new avenues as they appear. But don’t forget to come back to your important questions and find the answers you are looking for.
It’s a good idea to record the interview as it will save you having to write notes and it will also mean your report will be accurate. Always ask permission first. You can use a mobile phone or UNA Coventry can lend you an audio recorder.
You can also record a short video on your mobile phone for use on social media. 30 seconds is idea and 2 minutes is the maximum.
Ask permission to take photographs. Try to get a photograph of the people you interview and of any special equipment they use.
Writing Your Report
Decide your angle
Do you think the subject are reporting is important/value for money/a waste of time? Be sure you can justify your opinion.
Choose a good headline
Ideally this should be less than 100 characters. It should grab the reader’s attention. Look at headlines in news stories and decide if they catch your eye.
Write your opening paragraph
This should be a single paragraph of less than 250 characters. It will normally say who, what, when, where and why. It will pick out the key idea that makes your story important.
Body of your article
This should be at least 3000 characters (500 words) and no more than 8000 characters (1300 words).
Give references to websites people can go to find more information on the topic discussed.
Publishing Your Report
Onto our websites
Philip Brown can publish the report on the CovCAN.uk website for you if you email the text (such as in a Word document) to firstname.lastname@example.org
He might also copy it to other websites if it is relevant.
Alternatively, if you are going to produce several reports and if you want to learn how to use WordPress (a very popular blogging and website creation tool) then he can create a CovCAN.uk account for you and you can write it online. Please write to the above email and ask for an account.
Note that if you write your news articles online, Philip will need to check it before publishing it to ensure it meets the standards of the site.
On Social media
Publish a short report and photo or video on social media.
Once your fully report is published on our website, publish a link to it on social media.