Reporting on Crises and Disasters
Dates: 18 July 20 July | Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Application deadline: 23 June | Programme: Building the Capacity of Journalists in Asia and the Pacific

This is an opportunity provided by the Building the Capacity of Journalists in Asia and the Pacific programme: Find out more

Please note: This programme is open to English speaking journalists who are nationals of and based in the following countries: Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam. 

This training programme from Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), offers journalists an opportunity to expand their expertise in reporting about humanitarian crises and disasters triggered by natural hazards. Drawing on contemporary best practices of reporting and writing, the course will focus on how to cover a crisis or disaster while working with multiple and complex sources, and using mobile and online journalism skills. Trainers will also offer support and guidance on story ideas and production.   

 The training will be delivered in person in Bangkok, Thailand, over three days. The training will include instructor-facilitated discussions using desk-based scenarios and original stories from humanitarian crises and disasters, expert presentations, and story production support. The training will start on the 18th of July and finish on the 20th of July 2023.

Reporting on Crisis and Disasters

During crises and disasters, the media’s role to cover, explain and provide accurate news and information to the public is critical. This workshop will review the main challenges and techniques involved in covering international-scale crises and disasters, using Reuters and other global news organizations as a model. We will concentrate on natural disasters and humanitarian crises of all sorts, and the special problems that can arise in covering them. Through briefings, practical writing exercises against deadlines and forays into multimedia reporting, the course will help journalists improve their skills and recognize problem areas, within an interactive group environment. It will explore the logistical challenges of reporting in crisis zones and look at ways to serve the information needs of disaster-affected populations as well as wider audiences.  

This programme will help journalists to:  

  • Find, verify, and share reliable information for disaster-affected communities in a breaking news situation involving a crisis or disaster. 
  • Identify and verify reliable news sources in an emergency.  
  • Structure a fast-moving ongoing story for local and international audiences.  
  • Write clear, simple, and editorially balanced copy under pressure.  
  • Edit stories about a crisis or disaster.  
  • Conduct informative, accurate interviews with emergency relief services and disaster-affected individuals.  
  • Engage effectively with audiences and sources.  
  • Apply a ‘solutions journalism’ approach to crisis and disaster journalism and use this approach to identify and produce follow-up stories about disaster recovery. 

Experienced Thomson Reuters Foundation trainers will help participants to further enhance their skills in writing stories that are both powerful and accurate, and that explore the framing of issues of humanitarian crises and natural disasters. There will additionally be expert speakers from the region to give their valuable insights into best practices.   

The programme contents may be modified after assessing participants’ needs. 

Who Can Apply


Applicants must be journalists who are nationals of and working in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Viet Nam. They must be able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in journalism in any of these countries, with a minimum of two years’ professional experience and a good level of spoken and written English. Female journalists are highly encouraged to apply to this training. 

If applicants are not full-time staff members, they should be able to demonstrate considerable experience as a freelancer, including recent publications with client organizations.  

Applicants travelling from outside Thailand will need a passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity beyond July 18. All applicants who work for a news outlet as a full-time employee will also need a letter of support from their editors.  

Course Logistics


The intensive in person programme will run over three consecutive days, from 09:00 – 17:00 (Bangkok, UTC+7). There will be instructor-facilitated group sessions with a lead trainer and a co-trainer, interspersed with individual or group tasks. Participants will also hear from subject matter experts on a range of issues related to working in a complex humanitarian crises or natural disasters. During the three days of training, participants will be able to share their story ideas with the TRF trainers to receive guidance and feedback.  

On completion of the course, successful participants will receive a certificate from TRF and ADB. 

Travel and Accommodation

Participants from outside Thailand or those who need to travel by air to join the training will be provided with the most direct round-trip economy ticket from their home city or place of assignment to Bangkok. Their accommodations will be covered from 17th – 21st July 2023.  

Participants who will travel in close proximity to Bangkok will be provided an allowance.   

The programme will reimburse the fee for a single-entry visa, if applicable. Participants will be responsible for applying their own visa. Kindly note that visa approval is at the sole discretion of the Government of Thailand.   

More information will be provided via email to successful applicants.   


Please complete the application form at the link below and fill in this brief pre-training questionnaire. You will be required to submit samples of recent work, either as links or documents.

If you have difficulty applying, please email with the title of the course in the subject line. 

Building the Capacity of Journalists in Asia and the Pacific
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Asian Development Bank have designed a three-year practical, skills-based training programme to help journalists build their skills and deepen their understanding of a range of development and economic issues that will influence the future of Asia and the Pacific.

    Find out more

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