The Role of Media in the Climate Change Debate in Developing Countries

By John.O.Kakonge - 19 November 2011

Climate change continues to be one of the most important global issues confronting the international community. Yet in developing countries, climate change is poorly covered by local media, and consequently the general public lacks understanding of both the science and the policy implications of climate change. Rural communities, which are particularly vulnerable, are often the least informed.

Why does the issue of climate change receive such cursory and superficial treatment by local media in developing countries when it is precisely those countries that are likely to be impacted most acutely? How can the media in the developing world become more active in educating the public about climate change and helping to shape public policy? These are not rhetorical questions. This article proposes some practical ways to increase public understanding of the issues, and stresses the key role the media should play in this process.

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