Young journalists: Sustainable travel requires a new mindset

31.08.22 | News
Explore where you live, take the train instead of the plane and spend time planning. These are just some of the tips that come up when young journalists reporting on the climate and environment talk about sustainable travel. Above all else, it is important to question what we really mean by travel, to dare to think innovatively and to make changes on multiple levels – as individuals and in systems.

During the summer, Nordic co-operation has focused on sustainable travel, as part of which participants in the exchange programme “The Nordic-Canadian Fellowship in Environmental Journalism” were asked to explain their thoughts on the subject. Several of the young journalists advised completely revising our view of travel and what it needs to involve and recommended exploring the areas we live in and using slower, more climate-friendly modes of transport.   

“For me, sustainable travel is about looking at travel in a new way and making conscious choices. A lot of it has to do with planning: choosing the destination, mode of transport and accommodation. Take a train or bus if you can – or cycle. Sometimes it’s the slow journeys that open your eyes,” says Diellza Murtezaj, Denmark. Diellza studies journalism at Roskilde University and has a student job in the Danish Parliament.

Change on multiple levels

The participants agree that it is a complex topic, one we should look at from various different angles. Change is needed on multiple levels and individuals, companies and politicians all have a responsibility. 

“It takes effort by individual travellers to make sustainable choices. But it is also important that the travel industry and national and international bodies make concrete decisions and provide transparency. We need even broader and sustained global dialogue about sustainable tourism,” says Norah Lång, Åland. Norah studies peace and conflict studies at Lund University and is, among other things, an editor of the Swedish literary magazine Ordkonst. 

Meral M. Jamal from Canada highlights the role public transport plays in giving more people the opportunity to travel sustainably. 

“I think that well-developed public transport and cities built for walking in are important to those of us who want to travel more sustainably. When you land in a city or country, it’s easy to take a taxi or hire a car instead of using public transport. That is often what people do here in Canada,” says Jamal, who reports for CBC North’s Nunavut and is editor of LiisBeth, a Toronto publication promoting entrepreneurship for women.

Journalism’s investigative role

Journalism also has an important role to play in driving progress toward more sustainable travel. It is a matter of choosing how you work and which stories to cover and publish. 

“It is important that journalists investigate, ask relevant questions about the journeys we make and what is really sustainable and for whom. Inclusive reporting is also important. When traveling as a journalist, you need to remember that everybody comes from somewhere and that you are always in somebody’s home, so it’s also important to report with and not about people,” says Sara Tingström, Sweden. Sara has a master’s in environmental journalism and works, among other things, as a communications officer for the World Nature Fund WWF Sweden Youth.

About  The Nordic-Canadian Fellowship in Environmental Journalism

The Nordic-Canadian Fellowship in Environmental Journalism offers young journalists from the Nordic Region and Canada the opportunity to learn and work together. The programme is run by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto as part of the cultural initiative Nordic Bridges 2022 and with funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

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