June 28, 2019
By: Frederick V. Kanneh
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has on Wednesday 26th June, 2019 held a one day capacity building workshop that focused on training selected journalists on National Adaptation plan and other climate change related issues at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Aberdeen.
In his statement, the Executive Chairman of the EPA, Prof. Foday Moriba Jaward commended the press representatives for honouring their invitations in the midst of their busy schedules.
He added that Sierra Leone was faced with a lot of environmental challenges ranging from deforestation, coastal degradation, and improper waste disposal, among host of others.
He said the agency alone would not succeed in the said fight that was why he called on everyone including the media to come together with the aim of winning same.
“The general objective of this workshop is to enhance the capacity of media representatives in dealing with and covering the key aspect of climate change and its multifaceted impacts on the people of Sierra Leone with the sole aim of increasing public awareness and engagement in local and international adaptation initiatives and to influence public opinion and triggered debate on policy issues,” he said.
Lecturing on climate change reporting to impact policy, Tonya Musa lecturer at Mass Communication department, Fourah Bay College noted that journalist should also stride to influence policy makers in their reportages on environmental issues.
He stated that if the policy makers became interested in media reports, they would formulate policies that would help in the adaptation plan, thus cautioning journalists not to always base their reports on catastrophe, but on proffering solutions that would help to stop future occurrences.
“If you want to report on climate issues with the aim of impacting policy, it is but fitting that you consider certain aspects of news value into cognizance. Proximity is one of the most importance news value components that reporters of environmental issues should understand. For instance, you cannot write on farming that has occurred in Sudan and expect that story to impact policy in Sierra Leone,,” he concluded.
However, the workshop was climaxed by group presentations. Two separate groups were formed through balloting and asked to work on the task allocated to them.