Acquaint yourselves with emerging trends in climate change, journalist told

Women at a climate-smart demonstration plot in Kenya. To succeed in efforts to combat climate change, more women and young people should be placed at the center stage by the media to give them a voice. [Photo: C. Schubert /CCAFS]
Women at a climate-smart demonstration plot in Kenya. To succeed in efforts to combat climate change, more women and young people should be placed at the center stage by the media to give them a voice. [Photo: C. Schubert /CCAFS]
The Kenyan media needs to acquaint itself with the emerging trends and issues in climate change so as to influence national policy making, a workshop heard.

The journalists were told to do thorough research through reading and networking with climate change experts so as to have the latest information.

Such information should be from high credible sources that can promote research and development in the country, a training of science journalists was told in Nairobi.

Stephen Ndegwa, Director of Kenya-based Center for Climate Change Awareness says women and young people are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change, yet are not involved in the debates, and design of technologies that could help combat it.

He argues that for Sub-Saharan Africa to succeed in efforts to combat climate change, more women and young people should be placed at the center stage by the media who should set an agenda to address the issues and give them a voice.

Lucy Ng’ang’a, Chief Agricultural Officer, Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries says that Sub-Saharan Africa needs gender responsive technologies to adapt and mitigate climate change.

She says that since 60 per cent are female farmers, the existing technologies that are designed with ‘men in mind’ need to be transformed to cover women as well.

“News stories messages should come out clearly at the introductory paragraphs,” Ochieng Ogodo, the Regional Coordinator for UK’s SciDev.Net Sub-Saharan Africa English Edition tells the workshop.

Ogodo says that need to bring out real issues of climate change in their stories clearly and always support stories with scientific evidence to make them more credible and to increase their chances of influencing national policy making.

The journalists looked at the need to remain objective, tell success stories and linking climate change stories to policy making.

They further discouraged event coverage and instead calls for issue based reporting to be able to tell stories that could attract readers and help change the perception.

The decried the low coverage of food security and how it is liked to cklimate change that broadly looks at food availability, accessibility and consumption.

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