Journalists have been urged to play their role in debunking climate myths and to use their report to hold corporations and governments who deploy “greenwashing” and “gaslighting” to account.
Silas Jonathan, an open source intelligence expert, made the call at a 2-day training on climate and environmental reporting organized by the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development or CJID in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Jonathan said that there is a myriad of claims made by individuals and corporations pushing their agenda by muddling the waters of climate change. However, journalists must deploy facts to counter these claims and inform the general public.
Earlier in a press release to the public, CJID said the training was held as part of the organisation’s effort to deepen the understanding of climate and environmental issues amongst journalists in West Africa.
According to Felicia Dairo, the project manager, said: “The series of capacity building for journalists by CJID is a conscious effort in ensuring we bridge the knowledge and capacity deficit of climate change reporting across West Africa and a way of changing the narrative of low climate change reportage.”
Setting the one for the training, Nicholas Adeniyi, the project coordinator, said training is aimed at upskilling journalists who already cover climate and environment, refreshing their memories about what they know, and introducing them to new skills to tell and pursue impactful climate stories.
Some participants at the training said they are now better equipped to pursue climate-related stories and can now sieve through data to get what they are looking for.
On her part, Busola Ajibola, speaking on gender-based reporting, insisted that journalists covering climate change must deliberately give women voices in their stories as they are the most affected by the disasters.
Ajibola held that one of the most effective means of tackling the climate crisis is to empower women through education, and journalists have a role in ensuring that that happens.
One of the journalists, Sylvia Okedi, said “Because of this workshop, I now know I have to check the data on every story idea I’ve and not just jump on it as I use to do. Overall, the training was an eye-opener for me.”
Some of the facilitators include Abdulkareem Mojeed, Tobi Oluwatola, Akintunde Babatunde, Daniel Oladoja, Adesola Effiwat, Tengi George – Okoli.
20 journalists drawn across seven states were at the training.