Influencers helping the environment  

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism recently taught an online environmental journalism to a group of university students in Peru. This is one of the stories produced during that effort. The program was funded by the U.S. Embassy in Lima.

By Giuliana Hernández Janzic  

Where have your read your last news report?  

Was it in a physical newspaper? A magazine? Or your phone?  

With the boom of social media and new ways of communication, people can hear news from practically anywhere at any time.  

In recent years, the internet and social media have grown to become the main sources of information for a huge part of the population, especially for the younger generations. According to a study  by GAD3 and la Fundación AXA for Foro Periodismo 2030 in Spain, 48.8% of the people answered that they get their information on social media. 

And this is why on August 22of this year, PROFONANPE actively recruited six influencers to promote and spread knowledge about environmental problems and difficulties people may encounter along the way on their social media. 

With the objective of helping these stories get more traction and engagement., they will all generate content promoting environmental sustainability and act as links between social media users and people in charge of helping the environment. 

The chosen six are: Natalia Barreda (24), a publicist and content creator; Jhon Gleen Celis (22), an entrepreneur, podcaster and speaker; Juan Victor Sicha (22), a student of management in tourism and hospitality who also creates content about life in the country; Priscila Peralta (33), a veterinarian working in the Peruvian Amazon, and Sheyla Mendez (21) and Nelyda Taype (24), both communications majors who love to travel.  

They come from all over Peru: Lima, Huancavelica, San Martin and Apurimac.   

They have been part of a training workshop where they learned to better their audiovisual communication skills by reviewing how to create content via their phones. Also, they worked on finding their own expressive styles and bettering their interview techniques. 

The purpose of this project, besides the goal of putting this information on social media and making it go viral, is to get users to understand and empathize with these issues.  

The goal is for them to really get information in a way they would understand and not through a sometimes-boring news channel or article written in sometimes non-understandable academic terms.  

Carlos Hernández, an independent consultant for PNUD Peru, a branch of the UN and ex-worker of PROFONANPE applauds these ideas. 

“I think it’s a wonderful initiative, as social media is the way into getting into the younger generations’ minds,” he said. 

Sometimes the reason why the younger generations are not as engaged with this type of news is because they do not tend to use or invest in the more “traditional” ways of communication such as news TV channels, printed newspapers, digital newspapers or radio.  

Having said this, it makes sense that organizations like PROFONANPE will try to find new ways to reach a larger audience, and social media seems to be the way. 

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