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Ecojournalism: Walking The Talk

January 5, 2013

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Ecojournalism: Walking The Talk

Published on 17 March 2012 by Lilian Agih (writer)

Location(s):

Ilaje community on the Lagos estuary, also known as lagoon making construction that pollutes the ecosystem (photo: Tunde Akingbade)
Ilaje community on the Lagos estuary, also known as lagoon making construction that pollutes the ecosystem

Ecojournalism is a form of reporting that brings to fore, how factors like pollution, Climate change, Waste management, international trade, insecurity, conflict, corruption, politics, etc interacts with our environment. Most importantly, it educates and enlightens on how these can be better managed to guarantee safety of the ecosystem and the environment at large.

Establishing a role
The importance of ecojournalism at this point of our existence cannot be overemphasized, especially with the various urgent issues Nigeria and other countries are grappling with. There is no gainsaying that the mass media is the greatest agenda setter in the world today; they are able to not only give the masses something to think about but sometimes, go as far as helping them form opinions on the subject matter. Thus, journalism is the most instrumental vehicle for propagating the Eco message. More so, with the gradual explosion of the digital media and it’s link to social networking, there’s no better way to create awareness on this matter that has been neglected for so long.

Experience
As I mentioned before, digital media is the new media as it is without boundaries. This I’m conversant with, having been head of the digital section of my organisation for over a year. Apart from understanding the problems associated with Nigeria’s Eco system, I’ve been exposed to most of the areas; I was crime correspondent and specifically attached to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and got firsthand knowledge of how corruption affects our society. I monitored and reported the 2011 general elections as well as the attending violence, and I’ve followed closely, the Boko haram insurgence and how it has put a lot of pressure on the environment. In the area of environment, I have a flair for feature writing and as a reporter, I carved a niche in that. I visited surburbs, slums and industrial areas.

My Quota

From the foregoing, it is clear that there has been a lot of misunderstanding of the concept of ecojournalism.

  • The first step would be to make reporters understand that ecojournalism isn’t limited to environmental reporting, and that it encompasses all areas of human existence.

 

  • I’ll ask those on beats such as environment, crime, business, politics, etc to establish how those factors interact with and affect the environment.

 

  • I will ask them to carry out Vox pops on those topics to gauge people’s knowledge and understanding of the problem.  They’ll also conduct interviews with senior officers in such areas to check their responsiveness.

 

  • I will sensitize them on the gains of using the social media and how it can be used to propagate the message.

 

  • Finally, Eco journalism is not a programme, it’s a way of life so I will encourage reporters to continue reporting on the issues raised, to increase awareness.

 

We’re all in this together!

Particpants of eco j-hub Lagos 2012 on the roof of ccHub. Credit: Oluwaseyi Akerele

Particpants of eco j-hub Lagos 2012 on the roof of ccHub. Credit: Oluwaseyi Akerele

 

I’m not alone on this course. Here’s how my colleagues intend to work the talk:

It’s high time we moved our focus back to the policies that affect the environment. We’ve only got one earth and should take care of it – Azeenaarh  Mohammed, Blogger

I will bring up issues on environmental development and sustenance, and encourage writing of special reports on environment e.g, placing emphasis on the disadvantages of bush burning as it affects the Eco system. – Adaku Ibeawuchi, Imo State Radio Corporation

By carrying out in-depth investigations on various environmental challenges confronting the nation and the global community as well as interacting with civil society and policy makers – Tunde Akingbade, The Guardian

I will employ the use of social networking tools – Michael Simire, Daily Independent

 

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