Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bicol reporters take up newsroom workshop on climate change

By Sally Atento-Altea

 LEGAZPI CITY, Aug. 9 (PIA)–-Government communicators and members of the media in Bicol who were interested in agriculture and the science of climate change went to a workshop conducted by the Philippine Agricultural Journalists, Inc.(PAJ), the leading group of journalists and information officers in the country who cover agriculture.

The workshop was held last July 31 and Aug. 1 at Ninong’s Hotel in this city and was attended by journalists from print, TV, radio and government information officers.

Dubbed “Climate Change: Gets Mo Na Ba?,” the event provided participants “science-based” information on climate change, agriculture, food security and human safety, the techniques in data interpretation and planning on information dissemination.

The thrust, according to PAJ president Roman F. Floresca, was to help journalists craft better and more science-based stories about the issues of climate change.

The global climate change, described by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as the accelerated warming up of the Earth, has generated low media reportage, according to an online report of one of the workshop organizers, the Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute.

The IRR report said numerous scientists and experts around the world have expressed their concern at media discussions on climate change that “lack accurate information or are too technical for the public.”

“We aim to laymanize climate change processes and terminologies and enable journalists in the Bicol region to write, publish and broadcast better and more stories (about the matter),” said Floresca, also the business editor of Philippine Star.

The discussants underscored the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security and the critical role of journalists in enriching public understanding on the matter.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) communication head Tony Lambino recommended writing stories that depict the “positive, hopeful and reformist” side to the climate change because they ”can more likely lead to progress.”

Two of Lambino’s examples were rice varieties ready for climate change conditions such as drought, rising sea level, heavy floods and intense heat; and success stories of farmers who were able to propagate and gain increased yield through “climate smart farming strategies.”

“Positive and hopeful news make readers think that they can do something,” he said. “(This thinking) can prompt them to be inspired and take action.”

Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists (PNEJ) president Imelda Abaño tackled the state of climate change reportage.

She expressed concern at the low media reportage on science, the communication gap between scientists and journalists, and the lack of resources of the media to report science.

For journalists who struggle to report climate, her advice was to understand the science of climate change, go beyond press releases, get the right news sources and report more on the human factor of climate change.

“We need more stories on gender dimension taking into account its impact on men and women, indigenous peoples, the plight of our farmers, following the money such as the people’s survival fund and champions of CCA and DRR,” she said.

By CCA and DRR, she meant climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

At the workshop, the participants tried to prove their enhanced skills in climate change news reporting by crafting articles regarding the higlights of the event.

Some of the participants even shared their personal insights and observations and offered measures to implement climate-related initiatives, programs and advocacies.

The event was supported by Department of Agriculture, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Smart Communications, Philex Mining Corp., CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia, World Agroforestry Center and IRRI. (EAD/SAA/PIA5/Albay)  

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571439170847/bicol-reporters-take-up-newsroom-workshop-on-climate-change#sthash.qUfFEcCe.dpuf

No comments:

Post a Comment