October 11, 2014
Journalists attending the fourth conference on climate change and development in Morocco have unanimously agreed that their involvement in dissemination of information on climate change will enhance Africa’s chances of feeding the continent.
In exclusive interview with media personnel in the newsroom at the conference, journalists echoed out their importance in the dissemination of timely and correct information to the public.
Emmanuel .K. Bensah, a journalist from Ghana says knowledge is not just plugged but come through a process of learning.
“For journalists to be effective in their work, they need capacity building training that will accord them the skill required to disseminate climate change information which would in turn make people especially farmers make informed decision,” Bensah says.
Bensah says climate change is a development issue and journalists therefore need to move beyond politics in their reporting and bring climate change closer to the people who are mostly affected by it.
He says with special training and having experts on board that consistently provide the media with information, it will result in the people knowing much about climate change and relate with the weather patterns that keeps changing.
“One key aspect that we as media experts need to bring out is the human aspect of climate change and this does not just happen it takes skill and knowhow that can only be attained through training,” he says.
Bensah commended the United Nations Economic Commission for the pre training accorded for media people to learn about Africa and how the continent can be able to feed the continent.
Apollinaire Niyiri from Burundi says disturbances in the form of floods and droughts affect people’s lives so much that journalists become a vital component in dissemination of information.
Niyiri says with information vested in journalists’ early warning messages and bad practices will be discouraged and creating awareness in people on some of the best practices that need to be adopted.
“We have heard and seen the effects of deforestation, erosion and bad agricultural practices done by people in Africa and how they have contributed to changes in weather pattern. It is possible that our voice as journalists can reach those that are involved in bad practices and in turn enhance productivity” Niyiri says.
And Annie Sampa from Zambia says it is the duty of journalists to show that some activity that people are involved can impact negatively on future generations.
“Feeding Africa will require that correct information is given out the people at the right time and this can only be done by the journalist,” Sampa says.