CLIMATE change is the biggest threat after HIV, although its effects are not taken seriously by the media, Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) secretary-general, Foster Dongozi has said.
Addressing a Konrad Adenauer Stiftung-funded climate change media workshop in Bulawayo on Wednesday, Dongozi said ZUJ, after wide consultations, decided to empower and build the capacity of its members on reporting the global concern.
“It is important for journalists to understand and have the correct information, so that they are able to communicate the phenomenon of climate change.
As you are aware, journalists are right at the forefront in terms of disseminating information, correct information, which is why it is important for journalists to have their capacities built, particularly around communicating climate change,” he said.
Dongozi said it emerged from their consultations and observations that climate change is the second biggest crisis to hit the world and has already begun to affect different parts of the world.
“What has emerged is that they want their capacities built, they want to have incentives, so that we popularise the debate of climate change. They also want a reporter’s manual, which will help them in terms of unpacking stories to do with climate change,” he said.
“We are now going to look at awards that are going to be given to journalists that write on climate change. We are also going to look at building capacity and empowering journalists interested in reporting about climate change, so that they are able to attend these different platforms and forums that debate on climate change and related issues. We also want to look at journalists being leaders, training their peers around issues to do with climate change.”