Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two –day workshop on Climate Change Reporting, on Thursday, 11 November, at the headquarters of the Journalists Association of Cape Verde (AJOC) in the capital Praia, Lourenco Lopes emphasised that the training of journalists is a top priority today, when we are invaded with diverse information from different communication platforms, which have changed human relations and the relationship of traditional organizations with an increasingly demanding public, especially the young, who dominate, more than ever before, the different means of communication. “We want to have journalists who are well trained, exempt, objective, and promote the truth”. This context, he added, combined with the political culture of citizens and a climate of freedom for journalists, will continue to rise the essential conditions for the affirmation of the country as a reference of freedom of the press in Africa and the world”.
The two- day workshop, which was organised by AJOC in collaboration with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) under the Union To Union (UTU) Project 2021, brought together 25 young journalists from the print media, radio and television, online media and ten final year journalism students from the University of Cape Verde (UNICV) and the University of Santiago (US) to build their capacities on climate change reporting.
In his address of welcome, the President of AJOC, Geremias Furtado, said that the workshop is very important and timely for the journalists, considering that Cape Verde is an archipelagic country. Though the country does not emit too much greenhouse gases, he said, Cape Verde like most other island states, is still vulnerable to the effects of climate change. He expressed optimism that at the end of this training workshop, the participants will be better informed and prepared to report effectively on climate change and the environment.
The Director of the IFJ Africa Office, Pa Louis Thomasi said that the African media as compared to the other continents has lacked behind in reporting effectively on climate change and creating the desired impact that is necessary in enhancing behavioural change in our citizens. “The African media must play its part in the global fight against climate change as it has already caused colossal damage on the agricultural sector in the continent threatening the livelihoods of millions of people”.
The workshop deliberated on numerous themes with regards to climate change, notably the concepts, causes and consequences of climate change, gender dimension of climate change, climate changes challenges in Cape Verde, Climate change policies and plans, What Climate change means for Agriculture and food security, Seven Things every journalists should know about climate change, information gathering and techniques of writing climate change stories, and why radio is the most effective medium of communication in reporting climate change in Africa.