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"Journalists urged to report on environment"

Government has urged journalists in the country to report issues on environment effectively

Deputy Director of Biodiversity and Planning at Environmental Affairs Department Ben Yasin said this Friday in Lilongwe during the official opening of a-two-day media training on sustainable environment.

He said it is important for journalist to prioritize issues of environment so that they should make headlines.

Yasin said people lack awareness on the environmental challenges affect them hence the need for journalists to report about these issues.

“As a country, we have a lot of policies, programs that we are doing. Journalists must report on these issues by going to communities and inform them how they should address issues of environmental conservation,” Yasin said.

Some of the policies he highlighted include the National Climate Change Management Policy, National Environmental Policy and documents complementing these policies like the National Investment Plan which needs to be disseminated to the people.
 
Yasin added that prioritization of media coverage of politics was leaving a huge gap in addressing underlying environmental factors compromising energy and water access in the country

“We have serious issues of electricity blackouts and water shortages. These are coming from environmental degradation and people seem unaware of their responsibilities.

“It is important for journalists to tackle these issues for active public participation on environmental management,” he said.

Deputy Director responsible for Press and Publications in the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Deogratias Mmana, said journalists in Malawi should move away from the usual kind of stories they do based on people’s opinion.

“Journalists should go a mile further in coming up with investigative and analytical stories that shape proper policy direction and implementation in various sectors including the environment,” Mmana said.

In his remarks, AEJ President Matthews Malata encouraged members to avoid limiting their reporting to functions and events but also do investigative pieces.

He also advised the members to practice environmental reporting and generate a directory for environment sources.

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