25 August 2012

Zambia: Climate Change - Informed Media a Boon to Public

Berlin — THE media is better placed to educate readers and listeners over issues of environment and climate change, senior project manager at the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ) in Germany, has said.

Speaking at the closure of a two-month training programme in Berlin for journalists from Zambia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, India and Uzbekistan yesterday, Hans-Jurgen Bosel implored the media to ensure that issues of the environment were highlighted to allow the public make informed decisions.

He urged the media to ensure they used the knowledge and skills acquired during the training for the benefit of the public.

He said the challenges of climate change and environment required an informed media to allow them report effectively.

He said the Germany government attached great importance to issues of the environment hence its decision to engage the media in the training.

And a former BBC Correspondent in Africa and the Middle East, Alex Kirby, urged the media to be mindful when reporting issues of climate change and environment and that they should not to be seen as campaigners.

Mr Kirby said journalists should always use their news judgment and avoid misleading the public especially when reporting issues of climate change which had become a global topic.

He said environmental reporting was not boring as it was perceived and appealed to journalists to make the subject interesting by reporting on issues affecting ordinary people.

He said the media should bring out various international conventions signed by various governments as regards to the environment with a view to exerting pressure on governments for implementation.

"Now that you have acquired this knowledge, it is your duty to investigate and question certain decisions made by government because remember, you are the representatives of the people," he said.

He said conventions such as the Bamako, Basel, Vienna, Stockholm among others required the media to find out if the guidelines were adhered to or not.

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