The Gambia Press Union, with the support of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), on Thursday, 2nd July, completed a two-day training on climate change reporting for journalists.
The participants, drawn from across all media platforms, were taken through: introduction to climate change concepts and terminologies, overview of climate change situation in The Gambia, and techniques of climate change reporting. The 20 participants were divided into two groups and each group was trained for a day.
GPU President Sheriff Bojang Jr said it is commendable that a number of young journalists are delving into climate change and environmental reporting even though they had little understanding of the jargons and concepts of the subject matter.
“This is why trainings like this are important to build the capacity of journalists, train them to understand what the issues are and how to report them in a participatory and innovative manner,” he said.
Lamin Jahateh, GPU Program Manager, said by training journalists on the techniques of climate change reporting, and giving them an overview of climate change in The Gambia, the training is meant to equip the participants to tell local, personal stories about climate change that are both scientifically accurate and relevant to people’s daily lives.
“This is important because the country is already witnessing the impact of climate change through erratic rainfall pattern, flooding, drought, erosion, and biodiversity loss,” he said.
Louis Thomasi, director of IFJ West Africa Bureau, said the training would enhance the trainees’ capacity to better reporting on climate change.
“We have realized that in Africa, more especially in The Gambia, many journalists don’t report much on climate change because of the big scientific jargons involved,” he said, adding that the training is expected to ginger the participants’ interest in reporting climate change issues by broadening their understanding of the subject matter.
One of the trainers, Aruna Jobe of National Environment Agency, said climate change constitutes a major setback to The Gambia’s development effort due to its impact on the productive base of the economy such as agriculture.