Pacific Year of Climate Change 2009
Climate change media training
Climate change was the main topic for over a dozen regional journalists to digest during one week of training and development with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The training was funded by the Government of Canada for journalists from throughout the Pacific region to learn more about climate change and other environmental issues in order to be better able to report on this hot topic.
From 21 – 25 September, staff at SPREP spent time with the regional reporters teaching them about climate change and other environmental concerns. The participants also carried out “skills development sessions” with the perspective to better report on climate change issues and as part of their training they also had to file one story a day back to their media organisation.
“SPREP is pleased to be able to help Pacific reporters understand a very difficult, but vital topic, so they in turn can report back to our Pacific communities,” said SPREP’s Associate Media and Publications Officer, Nanette Woonton who facilitated the training in partnership with Samisoni Pareti, a Pacific freelance journalist.
“The participants soaked up all the information and they learnt a lot during their week here at SPREP. We’re really hoping that from this we’ll see more climate change stories in our region so our local communities can understand more about this important issue. We think that this is just the start.”
This is the second time the training has been staged by SPREP and this year there was a strong interest. Over 40 Pacific reporters applied for the Climate Change Media Training this year for which SPREP had to select 12 reporters. The Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) worked in partnership with SPREP to ensure there was wide knowledge of the training and strong regional interest.
Now that the training is finished participants have returned home refreshed and keen to start raising the climate change profile.
One of the key factors for the training was the commitment from the different media organizations towards broadcasting and publishing climate change news stories. With this support, a strong wave of climate change reporting is expected.
“It paints me a clear picture of what climate change is all about and teaches me how I can inform my people about climate change in a more understandable way,” said one of the Pacific reporters in the evaluation session.
"This training was very user friendly, it simplified what can often be a complicated and technical subject matter,” said another participant.
“I have learnt about the important role of the media in getting the climate change message across, this was a very effective training,” wrote another participant during the evaluation session.
SPREP will be posting some of the stories that were filed during the week of training on their Pacific year of climate change website http://www.sprep.org/climate_change/PYCC/index.asp, and will continue to work with the participants through an online network.
Participants that attended the training were from; Fiji TV, Fiji Sun, PACNEWS, a 3rd year USP journalism student, National Broadcasting Corporation in Papua New Guinea, the Tuvalu Media Department, Radio Kiribati, Nauru Media Bureau, The National newspaper in Papua New Guinea, Tonga Broadcasting Corporation and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.
Photo: Environment Champion Brianna Fruean interviewed by participants at the training workshop.