Environmental Journalists To Get Diploma Training On “Health & Climate Risk Reporting”

ISLAMABAD, (Faisal Azfar Alvi) :The Health Services Academy (HSA) is going to launch a professional training diploma for environmental journalists on “Health and Climate Risk Reporting” aimed at building capacity and skills of the reporters for credible evidence based reporting on the issues.

Addressing the one-day training workshop organised by Asian Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN), Japan under a Science to Policy Communication project being implemented by Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) in collaboration with the HSA and Environmental Journalists Association (EJA), Associate Professor and Head of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Environmental Health, HSA Dr Ejaz Khan announced the diploma training programme at the academy.

Dr Khan said keeping in view the exacerbating impacts of environmental degradation on the country; it was imperative for the environmental journalists to develop a nexus of policy makers, scientists and media for evidence based accurate reporting of the climate change induced issues.

He underlined that the diploma training modalities were under consideration and would be rolled out soon.

He suggested that the journalists should introduce health policy’s aspects or effects in environmental policies to develop national cohesion for concerted efforts to cope with environmental degradation.

“The reporting on climate change issues should be designed as per the psyche of the society with core emphasis on human welfare and free from personal prejudices,” he said.

Chief Guest on the occasion, Executive Director, Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change (CSCCC) Aisha Khan said the science (experts and academia), society, policy (legislators) and media needed to work collectively for holistic outcomes addressing environmental degradation.

She regretted that the National Climate Act 2017 was not being implemented since its inception and media should report on it as this legislation could help develop strong coordination mechanism between the Federal and provincial governments to address devolved subjects like environmental degradation.

Ms Khan suggested that media should come up with out of the box concepts and strategies for solution oriented reporting on environmental degradation.

Senior Journalist and Writer Khalid Jamil while chairing the technical session said media basics and skills should be applied by the journalists while reporting issues to avoid exploitation and uphold the fundamental purpose of informing, educating and entertaining the society.

He suggested that the environmental journalists should work on hidden ideas and present them in conformity with public interest to gain traction and build pressure on the policy makers.

GCISC, Senior Scientific Officer Dr Shaukat Ali briefed, the training participants comprising of environmental journalists and students of various universities, on key environmental and technical concepts related to environmental degradation.

He mentioned that it was imperative for media persons to consult experts and scientists for accurate reporting of complex issues related to environmental degradation.

Dr Mumtaz Ali from National Institute of Health presented his views on infodemic and role media throughout the pandemic of COVID-19.

Anchorperson Farid Raees shed light on the importance of media training on climate change.

Dr Razia Safdar from SDPI while co-chairing the technical session said there was need to report health crisis and climate change impacts on priority with core focus on the determinants of such issues.

Project Lead APN Rida Sehar Kiani briefed the participants on the project and objectives of the media training where President EJA Abid Ali Azmi also addressed the media training and unveiled the goals of the Association to drive environmental journalism through training and capacity building of the reporters.

Anchorperson Hina Chaudhary also delivered a detailed presentation on role of media in highlighting climate crisis.

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