Monday, 19 October 2009 6:00 AM

Journalists Urged to Put Human Touch on Climate Change Reports

A Pacific journalist has urged fellow journalists to put a human face and touch on reports of climate change, to tell the stories of those who are most vulnerable to the effects.

According to a report by Fiji Times Online, Samisoni Pareti, a veteran journalist, made the challenge while speaking at a special session on climate change at the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development Seminar in Brussels last week.

According to the report, Mr. Pareti challenged journalists to 'put a face and human touch on scientific and technical reports about climate change reports' saying the Pacific was 'the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in the world and with that came a responsibility to ensure the stories of people affected were told in the most simple and accurate manner possible'.

The topic of discussion was putting a human face on issues of climate change. "We are doing our best to report on climate change and we plead with experts and scientists to work with us so that our stories are told, our situations revealed and the vulnerable status of the region be given due recognition," he said.

"Climate change is a multi-dimensional issue, and in the Pacific it means sea level rise, sea water intrusions into our farms and agricultural land, water contamination and coastal erosion.

"For many of our small island states it even means threats of submersion and being displaced -- issues that strike at the heart of lost identities, cultures and ways of life, a heart-wrenching reality."

Mr Pareti said journalists had realised they needed to band together so that more could be done. "What we need now in the thriving and very active media industry in the Pacific is to work together with technical agencies within the region and beyond in keeping climate change on top of the agenda, whether at national level, regional and particularly international arena," he said.

"We need our journalists to be trained to understand the issues involved."

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