Pacific Media Watch

2 May 2018

REGION: Pacific journalism network forms to fight for change

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Ten Pacific Island journalists with representatives from the German government, DW Akademia and the UN Climate Change spokesperson Nick Nuttel in Bonn. Picture: Paul Zimmer/Wansolwara

By Mereoni Mili
SUVA (Wansolwara/Pacific Media Watch): In a bid to strengthen environment and climate change reporting in the Pacific, a network of likeminded journalists joined forces to form the first Pacific Environment Journalists Network (PEJN).

The initiative was one of the outcomes of COP23 and followed the success of a training programme funded by the German federal government, UN Climate Change and Deutsche Welle (DW) Akademia last year.

Network president Iliesa Tora said the aim was to network and co-ordinate opportunities for regional journalists who were interested in covering environment news and topics such as climate change, oceans, fisheries and agriculture.

“This will give us the opportunity to discuss the issue of environment reporting and share the vision with other regional journalists, who we can then bring into the network,” said Tora.

“Environment reporting is virtually nil in the region and we do not have specialists in this field so we would want to do this and help develop journalists who can write on climate change and issues as such that affect the environment.”

Tora said the network would raise issues with their governments and the international community to bring positive changes to help ensure a sustainable environment for the future generation.

With the help of partners such as Internews and Earth Journalists Network, PJEN will be hosting a pre-summit event at the 2018 Pacific Media Summit in Tonga next week from May 7-12.

Ten journalists from Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu are part of this network.

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