Climate Change Awareness Urged - Radio World

Climate Change Awareness Urged

Speakers at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Programme Committee meetings urged their cohorts to pay attention to climate change and how their operations cover the issue.
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Speakers at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Programme Committee meetings urged their cohorts to pay attention to climate change and how their operations cover the issue.

The meetings came during the 44th ABU General Assembly in Tehran, Iran.

According to a report from ABU, broadcasters were urged to provide the public with "correct and easy-to-understand information" about global warming and climate change, as well as to "take on a bigger role" in fighting corruption practices.

"Radio, and the media, must play the role of the provider of correct and easier to understand information about global warming. Journalists must be trained to write in a manner that is easier to understand by the public. Also, scientists need to be trained on how to express their findings in a less complicated manner," said Parni Hadi of Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI).

Jun Ogawa of TBS in Japan discussed a joint project with MBC in South Korea that encouraged listeners to shut off their lights for two hours during the summer solstice to show solidarity with the ideal of fighting global warming.

"This is not really an appeal to save energy. It is more of an appeal for solidarity & to take action together and think about global warming," Ogawa said.

Session moderator, Deborah Steele of Radio Australia, cautioned that in pursuit of objectivity journalists can run the risk of unintentional "information bias" in their reporting.

"Balanced coverage does not always mean accurate coverage. In terms of the global warming story, 'balance' may allow skeptics — many of them funded by carbon-based industry interests — to be frequently consulted and quoted in news reports on climate change," she said.

Vijay Sadhu, senior officer for radio in the ABU Programme Department, suggested that regional broadcasters mark the next summer solstice, 21 June 2008, with an education effort under the motto "Light Down Landmark, Light Up Awareness."

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