St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): An official at PANOS Caribbean believes the media can do more in sensitizing people on the effects of climate change. Indi McClymont-Lafayette, the Country Coordinator for PANOS Caribbean Jamaica said despite the interest at the community and national level in the region on climate change, the media provides very little coverage on the topics. She used a survey in Jamaica to support her findings. “The Met Office in 2005 did a knowledge assessment and practice study and I think it was like over 70 per cent of people wanted to know more about climate change…when we look at how the media portrayed climate change, that was like 2%(coverage) so it was not a priority for the media so you see there is a gap between demand versus what is out there,” McClymont-Lafayette said.
The PANO official said there are opportunities for funding for media companies on projects relating to climate change. She urged journalists to participate in media fellowships on the subject. “What PANOS does is we offer media fellowships to journalists from the region to go to the UN COPS and it builds their capacity to cover a big meeting,” McClymont-Lafayette said. We also try to commission journalists to do media briefings and more stories on the issue in the region and I think the editors need to look at where funding is….there is funding for supplements and publications around the issue so if they want to be viable then they should be looking at this area,” she added.
Meanwhile, the PANOS official urged the public to ask questions of their representatives about climate change especially when they sign international agreements that will have significant impacts on their lives.
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