Communicating relevant, accurate and local information and stories about climate change in Africa is crucial to raise awareness about its impacts and what people and society can do to help mitigate and adapt to climate change. To help support the media in Africa, UNESCO has released a new guidebook for journalists on climate change in Africa.
Mike Shanahan, lead author of the guidebook, argues that climate change “… will affect every beat of journalism, from politics and business reporting to consumer and health stories. African journalists and their editors should not see climate change as ‘just an environment’ issue but as a new reality that will create growing demand from audiences for comprehensive, clear and locally-relevant coverage.”
The authors of this guidebook represent organizations that have trained hundreds of journalists around the world to report more effectively on climate change. They consulted 44 journalists from 17 African countries and 38 climate-change specialists, who provided their insights into what was missing from African media coverage and how this book should help to fill those gaps.
Leading up to the publication was a workshop held in Kenya, at which 23 African experts, including academics and journalists, took time to review the initial draft of the guidebook.
UNESCO also intends on hosting a series of Google Hangouts during February to raise interest amongst African journalists and others interested in a deeper understanding of reporting climate change prevention and mitigation.