“Talking Climate Change”

By Dorothy Mabelebele and Searatoa Van Driel

Karibu! Journalists attended a training workshop on Reporting on Climate Change at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) on 7 March 2017 at their offices in Richmond, Johannesburg. The workshop was fasilitating by Mandi Smallhorne and Gus Silber. Smallhorne is a freelance writer and journalist who has written about social issues, health and the environment for over 25 years; She is also president of the South African Science Journalists Association and of the African Federation of Science Journalists. Silber is a journalist, author, editor and scriptwriter.

The training session focuses on climate change and how to report on climate change as journalists. Climate change, also often referred to as global warming, refers to the recent and ongoing rise in the global average temperature near Earth’s surface, which is causing Earth’s climate  patterns to change.

Smallhorme said that “in South Africa we do not have environmental journalists,” so this is an opportunity for different journalists who report on different stories to also include environmental journalism into their beat. She said that climate change is not something that changes the weather only, it is also something that affects the lives of people and animals. “Climate change matters everywhere,” Smallhorne said. “People need to know what climate change is. [We need to stop] thinking it is something from [outer]space.”

Gus Silber explained that as journalists, it is important to speak about how climate change affects people, how it affects communities and how it will affects the way we live our lives.

For more information about climate change go to the following websites: www.climatereality.co.za and www.mediahack.co.za.

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