Home Climate Change World Television Day: Experts call for effective media engagement in climate advocacy

World Television Day: Experts call for effective media engagement in climate advocacy

Climate Change- LagosPost.ng
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In a thought-provoking advocacy webinar organised by the Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) to mark the World Television Day 2023 on Tuesday, November 21, three distinguished media experts, Mr Michael Simire, CEO of EnviroNews Nigeria; Ambassador Emmanuel Gabari, Founder of Shagalinku TV; and Comrade Kevin Akoje, Bureau Chief of SDG Radio, came together to discuss the pivotal role of constructive finance in enhancing media engagement within the climate advocacy space.

The webinar was themed: “Facilitating Media for Climate Justice and Sustainable Development”.

Amb. Gabari opened the discussions by highlighting the positive evolution of the media over the years, acknowledging its many advantages.

“The new media that has evolved has numerous edges over the traditional media. It is immediate in sharing information real-time, enabling consumers to find out the latest news or weather report at the touch of a button. Notably, it hosts the widest reach of persons per time even in most remote parts of the globe where internet is found,” he said.

The moderator, Jiata Ekele, also noted that “there are 4.8 billion social media users worldwide today. This representing 59.9% of the global population and 92.7% of all internet users. And there are 150 million new social media users between April 2022 and April 2023 depicting a 3.2% increase year-over-year.”

Gabari also drew attention to the use of drones in photography, particularly in documenting flooded areas, showcasing the potential for technological advancements to contribute to climate-related issues.

The conversation also delved into ethical considerations, emphasising the need for media to address issues such as verifying news and protecting the identity of individuals, especially in the context of data rights and consent.

Mr Michael Simire emphasised the diverse roles of media outlets, noting that they serve as watchdogs holding governments accountable.

He stressed the importance of journalists analysing local content, simplifying messages and utilising various media platforms, including social media, to effectively communicate climate-related stories.

He underlined the role and the need for investigative journalism in holding entities accountable for their environmental impact, even as he listed how they contribute to fostering sustainable development.

Simire, who is also the Media Thematic Lead, CSDevNet, said: “Democracies where the media are unrestrained and hold power to account are said to produce healthier populations than autocracies. A plural, independent media plays an essential role in educating the public and disseminating information that people need to make responsible, informed decisions that shape their lives.

“Greater press freedom is associated with higher adult literacy rates and school enrolment ratios. Exposure to mass media among mothers decreases the likelihood that their children will drop out of school. Media can promote awareness of gender equality and contribute to the prevention of violence against women.

“Essentially, media can act as an instrument to increase public awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and hold governments accountable for the implementation of national commitments.”

Comrade Kevin Akoje urged a comprehensive understanding of climate justice and suggested engaging politicians and the entertainment industry to broaden the reach of climate advocacy.

Drawing attention to the concept of climate justice, Akoje highlighted the need to stress the point of equity, justice and fairness, in climate advocacy, specifying that the target demographic for any advocacy effort should be clearly stated.

Amb Gabari emphasised that media houses, despite their role in advocacy, are not charity organisations; they need financial support to sustain their operations.

He also urged for increased investment in training and retraining media professionals, including the creation of climate change skits to make advocacy more engaging and entertaining.

The three experts collectively underscored the importance of collaboration in amplifying the impact of climate change advocacy.

They emphasised that actions should be incentivised to attract the youth, who form a significant portion of internet users and are predominantly present on social media platforms.

The idea of creating short, captivating climate change skits featuring popular figures, as suggested by one of the participants, Mrs Eleojone Gift Emmanuel, was discussed as a potential strategy to engage a wider audience.

From conducting investigative journalism to creating engaging content such as climate change skits, media’s multifaceted involvement necessitates sustained funding.

As emphasised by Ambassador Gabari, media houses, despite their societal contributions, require financial backing to operate efficiently.
This financial support not only ensures the production of high-quality content but also facilitates the continuous training and retraining of media professionals.

In essence, constructive finance is more than an investment in media; it is a strategic contribution that enhances the global conversation on climate change, expanding the impact and effectiveness of advocacy initiatives.

As the webinar concluded, the consensus among the experts and participants was clear: effective media engagement in the climate space demands constructive finance.

The call to action resonates as a crucial step in ensuring that climate advocacy not only informs but also captivates audiences, fostering a collective responsibility towards sustainable and climate-resilient futures.

Spurred by these insights, CSDevNet says it looks poised to explore innovative avenues and collaborations to further advance their climate advocacy initiatives.

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