Science-based facts most essential in Climate Change Reporting

  • Published Date : December 1, 2021

23rd Kartik Kathmandu: Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) concluded that study, research and knowledge from concerned organizations and experts must be incorporated by the media to effectively address the problems created by climate change during a program organized on Tuesday.

The conclusion was made after the discussion between experts and journalists was carried out during the program organized to discuss on climate change and its effect on agriculture, hydropower generation and climate-induced disasters. The discussion was carried out so as to facilitate journalists for on-site news reporting under the fellowship provided to journalists for climate change reporting. NEFEJ, in collaboration with the Economic Policy Incubator (EPC), awarded scholarships to three journalists.

The event featured presentations by media personnel and three experts on news collection. Experts in attendance urged media personnel and journalists to cover the basic sciences of climate change in climate change- based news and articles that are regularly published and broadcast. He argued that such news or articles would be more effective and credible if the sciences, studies, research and experiences of the affected communities or stakeholders were included.

Reflecting on the responsibility of the media to inform the general public about climate change in a simplified way, Water Resources expert Ajay Dixit said, “The media has a role to provide information and that information must be developed as a knowledge by relevant stakeholders but this has not been achieved.” He noted that the issue at hand is purely scientific, adding that the news and articles published will be more accurate and realistic only if findings from meticulous study and research is included by the media. He pointed out it is very hard to claim climate change as the cause for the loss and damage incidents that have accorded based on the recently circulating information. He pointed out that there has not been enough research in this field and it is very difficult to collect the findings and details of the few studies that have been carried out. Dixit had reviewed the news published by Naya Patrika Correspondent Yam Bam based on Bhairavkund Hydropower Project located in Sindhupalchok and its impact on the region. Yam Bam had received fellowship to cover issues on hydropower project and its potential impacts.

Geohazard expert Dr. Ranjan Kumar Dahal said that it was the responsibility of the media personnel to convey information regarding temperature, rainfall and weather forecast to the concerned bodies. He lamented that such news articles are published time and again but they lack fact-based summary. For instance, news reports state the falling of heavy rainfall but it lacks the actual measurement of rainfall for that incident. He requested journalists to cover the scientific aspects of any geohazard incidents for which the reporting is being carried out.

NEFEJ President Kosmos Biswokarma said that the knowledge from studies, research and experts must be included while compiling and publishing news on climate change and its impacts. He shared that the experts should also explain the scientific knowledge in a simplified manner to the media. Effective news can only be produced and published through the joint efforts from both sides.

Keshav Acharya, senior advisor of the EPI program, informed that collaboration was done with NEFEJ to take the climate change issue to the grassroot level. He suggested that climate change discussion should be carried out at the political level with interventions from the state. Media personnel and experts put forward their queries while also sharing experiences and opinions during the program.

नेपाल वातावरणा पत्रकार समूह(नेफेज)ले यही जुलाई १२ मा बागमती प्रदेशको चितवनमा गर्न लागेको ‘मिडिया वर्कसप अन नेचुरल रिसोर्स म्यानेजमेन्ट एण्ड ग्रीन ग्रोथ’ पत्रकारहरुको खोजी ।