Dual-track: 'S' in ESG, Reporting on Corporate Social Impact
Dates: 05 December 15 December | Location: Online
Application deadline: 21 November | Programme: Skoll Foundation

This is an opportunity provided by the Skoll Foundation programme: Find out more

Thomson Reuters Foundation's ‘S’ in ESG: Reporting on Corporate Social Impact offers an excellent opportunity for financial, business and/or investigative journalists in South Africa to gather virtually for training, knowledge sharing, expert sessions and network building.

The Programme will be delivered by world-class trainers and experts and uses Thomson Reuters Foundation’s unique ‘dual track’ approach, which trains journalists and CSO representatives in parallel, and provides opportunities for networking and collaborative story development. This approach strengthens trust between journalists and NGOs/CSOs.

The training will have a unique focus on the use of various sources of financial and non-financial data as a means of assessing corporate social performance, the 'S' in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance). As ESG investment increases worldwide, there remains no standardized model of social impact assessment, leading to discrepancies between corporate practice and disclosure. Effective data analysis can help journalists uncover these inconsistencies, ensuring that they and their newsrooms are reporting accurately on these matters. This, in turn, will support efforts to both increase and improve corporate disclosure and transparency on social issues, expanding the data pool available. 

Journalists participating in the Programme will acquire relevant knowledge, trade tips and insights based on their own experiences, apply new digital skills, and access influential policymakers and officials for exclusive information and story ideas to cover the socio-political implications of companies reporting on their social performance.

At the end of the Programme, journalists will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a strong understanding of the key issues regarding corporate social performance in South Africa.
  • Analyse the media's role in reporting on social investment issues in the region.
  • Apply foundational data skills to analyse government, NGO and CSO data on social investments.
  • Adopt tools and techniques to analyse relevant data on social performance of companies/sectors.
  • Identify 'S’ in ESG themes and story ideas to pitch for a personal or group story project.
  • Investigate company/sector discrepancies between disclosure and actual performance on social issues.
  • Better protect your reporting and sources in a digital world.

NOTE: The Programme contents may be modified to best respond to the learning needs of the participants.

Who Can Apply

  • Data, business, financial and investigative journalists with experience or strong interest in business and human rights, financial journalism, and/or business’ social performance.
  • Applicants must be based in South Africa.
  • Applicants must be full-time journalists or regular contributors for media organisations with a minimum of three years’ professional experience.
  • Applicants must have a high proficiency level of spoken and written English.
  • Applicants must have access to a minimum internet speed of 8 MB/second. You can check the speed of your device by logging onto www.speedtest.net.

Course Logistics

Course Dates: 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, and 15 December 2022

Joint Session: 14 December will be a joint session between CSOs and journalists.

Course structure: The course will be delivered over 6 x 3.5-hour sessions, using online seminars and other interactive online tools. Participants will be given short activities to complete during and after each session to build skills and confidence.

Timing: 09:00 - 12:30 SAST

Location: Online (Zoom), South Africa

Language: English

Application deadline: 20 November 2022

Additional Pre-Training Session: 22 November (11:00 - 13:00 SAST), Introduction to Communicating with Data. This session will focus on some of the essentials of data analysis (cleaning concepts, filtering, sorting, pivot tables, and scraping data from documents). All eligible applicants who have completed an application form will be invited to attend this session.

Story grant: Journalists will work on a story project and receive feedback from TRF facilitators. After the course they can apply for a two-month Programme that includes one-on-one mentoring and a £300 grant to produce and publish their stories.

Certification & TRF Alumni Engagement: Participants who engage in at least 80% of the sessions will receive a certificate from Thomson Reuters Foundation and will benefit from future alumni engagement, including exclusive invitations for events, access to more training and story funding.

Meet Our Experts

Cris Chinaka, Journalism Lead Trainer

Cris is an experienced journalist who has spent 20 years at Reuters International News Agency throughout his career. During this time, he worked as a reporter in southern Africa, including roles as Chief Correspondent for the Reuters Zimbabwe Bureau and five years as a Reuters Correspondent in South Africa. Since 2015, Cris has worked as a part-time Reuters Correspondent and as a journalism and media trainer and consultant. He sits on several boards of Zimbabwean Media Organisations and is also the Editor-In-Chief of ZimFact, an independent fact-checking platform.

Daniela Quirós Lépiz, Journalism Co-Trainer

Daniela is a data journalist, researcher, and trainer. For the past seven years, she has helped civil society organizations and investigative journalists to extract meaningful insights from data and transform them into concise messages. Daniela is passionate about data-driven policymaking and she speaks Spanish, English, and French. She previously led an investigative journalism network in West Africa and was involved in civic technology and open data initiatives in the African continent. 

Complete this APPLICATION FORM before 20 November 2022.

If you have any difficulties applying, please contact eleanor.wellerpoley@thomsonreuters.com  

Skoll Foundation
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