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- Volume 7, Issue 1, 2013
Global Media Journal - African Edition - Volume 7, Issue 1, 2013
Volume 7, Issue 1, 2013
Author Ibrahim SalehSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp i –vii (2013)More Less
There are many hurdles in Africa to overcome in order to break down the barriers that prevent the majority of people from knowing and sharing information about climate change. However, this dilemma could be addressed by increasing trust in the media and news coverage (mainstream and alternative), which can only be realized by addressing the very particular concerns of different contributing communities in Africa. It is, therefore, the aim of this special issue of the Global Media journal, African Edition, to offer new insights with a view to increasing knowledge sharing capacity, improving potential collaborations, building on existing research, and creating a sense of collective responsibility towards the future among the African people.
Communicating the findings and recommendations of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports in Africa : some observationsAuthor John O. KakongeSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 1 –12 (2013)More Less
For African countries to make the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process effective, the findings and recommendations of EIA reports must be communicated horizontally and vertically to the stakeholders. This article proposes that for this communication to be successful, several challenges must be addressed. They include insensitivity to cultural and language barriers, lack of accessibility of EIA reports and overreliance on foreign experts. Use of mass media, increased training of media journalists and reporters as well as other professionals, public inquiries by local leaders, and increased awareness of environmental matters on the part of communities can improve the EIA process.
Investigating the use of the media in disseminating information on climate change in north central NigeriaSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 13 –39 (2013)More Less
Information dissemination through the use of media technology is important to understanding the threat, impact and adaptation options that climate change poses regarding the livelihood of farmers in Nigeria specifically and the entire world generally. This study investigates the use of media in disseminating information on climate change and the constraints limiting climate change adaptation in north central Nigeria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain data from 411 farmers in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents, and the data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools. The mean age of the farmers was 52 years. The mean years of farming experience was 33 years. 51.3% of the farmers were females. Their literacy level was low (30.6% had secondary education). The most common household appliances among the respondents were radio sets (77.6%), motor cycles (55%) and mobile telephones (30.6%). 59.4% received information from extension agents between 2008 and 2011; only about half of them received information (temperature and rainfall) on climate change from this source. Extension agents and battery-operated radios were ranked as the leading sources of information on climate change. Inadequate information due to inadequate media coverage of climate change in Nigeria in particular and the low literacy level were the principal constraints on climate change adaptation. It was recommended that the literacy level of the respondents be improved through the establishment of adult education or literacy classes in the study area so that they can benefit from print media. It was further recommended that timely and adequate information to rural farmers on climate change should be given via media technologies available to them (such as battery powered radios and mobile phones among others) and that extension agents should be properly equipped to give information on climate change to the farmers.
Climate change and drama : the youth learning about and responding to climate change issues through dramaAuthor Lindie BuirskiSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 40 –46 (2013)More Less
Mobilising cultural practitioners to promote understanding of climate change is important for public engagement, in particular for young learners and children. Over the past six years, interest in the 'science' of communicating climate change has flourished in South Africa. Psychologists, social workers, schools and the city of Cape Town, through the Department of Environment, have been united in the quest for systematic, reliable evidence with which to promote sustainable behaviour. They have been mobilising cultural and creative resources among young learners regardless of their race and ethnicities to enhance the general public engagement with climate change. To take one topical example, Yes Festival is an annual event that adopts the idea of "creativity versus climate change". The invisible nature of climate change is rendered real through everyday stories, performances, and simple yet authentic ideas through children and school teachers to create a positive social norm. Typically, the challenge of climate change communication is thought to require systematic evidence about public attitudes, sophisticated models of behaviour change and the rigorous application of social scientific research. All of this is true, but it is human stories, creative plays not carbon targets that capture children's attention. The science of climate change communication is essential to engage people's minds, but the art of engaging people's imagination may be just as important.
Climate change and South Africa : a critical analysis of the National Climate Change Response White Paper and the push for tangible practices and media-driven initiativesAuthor Shelley SmithSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 47 –66 (2013)More Less
The South African government's response to the universal crisis of global warming has resulted in the creation of the National Climate Change Response White Paper, a proposed country-wide course of action that would aid in the stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions and intervene in current harmful environmental practices. The role of communication and the media is crucial to the success of any policy implementation as well as of the establishment of an 'action-inspired' mind-set amongst citizens that will bolster lifestyle change to support the cause. This paper will assess the National Climate Change Response White Paper in conjunction with climate change coverage from the South African daily online news source, News24. Additionally, films released from the Bjerkness Centre for Climate Research and discussion surrounding youth's use of relatable mediums to invoke lifestyle change from Lindie Buirski, Head of Environmental Capacity Building, Training and Education in the City of Cape Town's Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Department, will aid in analysis. Moreover, they will serve to bolster the argument of communications' critical role in realizing any goals set forth by the government. The paper will close by offering proposed climate-change directed development projects for the South African context and will refer to current international successful examples of media use to carry the message of climate change, while inviting audience input, participation, and most importantly, action.
Environmental NGOs as news sources : a sociological approach to the study of environmental journalism in South AfricaAuthor Jaquelyne Crystal KwendaSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 67 –91 (2013)More Less
The interconnectivity between climate change and critical economic, agricultural and social matters presents challenges in communicating the complexity and urgency of dealing with climate change. Commentators have criticised environmental journalism in Africa for its superficiality, inaccuracy and disassociation from broader developmental issues (Wasserman, 2012), thus generating a call for better communication that shapes adequately informed and pro-active African citizens. A precursor to a study on the interaction between the media and non-governmental news sources, this article argues that attempts to address the media's shortcomings should begin with a closer assessment of the politics of representation within mass media coverage of climate change. Beginning with an exploration of the literature on environmental organizations and the media, it shows that a media-centric approach dominates the study of news source strategies. As a result, this method emphasizes the impact of journalistic norms on news coverage by highlighting the dominant access of official news sources to news media. In so doing, the influence, or lack thereof, of the politically marginalized is neglected. In an attempt to bridge this gap, this article puts forward a framework which integrates concepts of journalistic norms and values with social constructionist views. Through this approach, environmental NGOs will be viewed as participants in the construction of climate change news circumscribed by social and political factors which determine their strategies and the extent to which they can enjoy media access.