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BBYDI, Sobi FM partner to enhance climate reporting skills among Kwara journalists

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Hameed Muritala

In a concerted effort to strengthen environmental reporting and raise awareness about pressing climate issues, the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), in collaboration with Sobi FM, recently organized a one-day climate journalism workshop for journalists in Kwara State.

According to the organisers, the workshop aimed to empower journalists with the requisite skills and knowledge to effectively cover climate-related topics, thereby fostering greater public understanding and action against the climate crisis.

Held at Sinclair Hotels in Ilorin, the workshop attracted journalists from various media outlets across the state. Facilitators at the workshop included climate activists, seasoned communication professionals, and journalists who provided insights into the intricacies of climate change, its impact on local communities, and the role of media in advocating for sustainable solutions.

In her presentation, a professor of mass communication at the University of Ilorin, Saudat Abdulbaqi, urged journalists to aggressively report climate change and climate actions to mitigate its effects on people and the planet.

Abdulbaqi said journalists should drive the issue of climate change in their daily reporting and stated that journalists were the last hope of the common man regarding creating awareness on how human activities caused climate change, especially in rural areas where they had little or no knowledge about it.

“Climate change is not new, but we are shying away from taking decisive steps to mitigate it. It is an established fact that climate change is rarely reported, and where it is, it is underreported.

“To an extent, people in urban areas are aware that their activities contribute to climate change, but people in rural areas are unaware. So, it is obligatory on the media to help get the information to them in the language they understand,” she said.

Also speaking, Mr. Rasheed Yusuf, who spoke on “Understanding Climate Reporting and Journalism Techniques for Climate Reporting,”  said journalists had a significant role to play in combating the climate crisis.

He advised journalists to work together while reporting climate stories and emphasized the need for self-education.

On his part, Mr. Dare Akogun, News Editor, Sobi FM, who spoke on “Fact Checking and Debunking Myths on Climate Change’’, tasked the government with engaging experts while coming up with policies on climate change.

He added that journalists should be able to hold leaders and governments accountable through their climate reports.

Akogun said journalists should, through their reports, open the eyes of policymakers to what could be done to mitigate the effects of climate change on society.

With the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop, journalists in Kwara State are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping public opinion, influencing policy decisions, and galvanizing collective action towards a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

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