Session on Climate Change Reporting

Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Government College for Women, M.A. Road organised a guest lecture on ‘Climate Change Reporting’ on June 27, 2023. The guest speaker was Mr. Shakoor Rather who is currently working as News Editor and Head Science and Technology at India’s premier news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).

Students from various batches of journalism programme currently enrolled at the college viz., 5-year Integrated, 3-year Honors and 4-year NEP batch- attended the nearly four-hour-long session at the college conference hall.

Mr. Shakoor elaborated on the impact of Climate Change on different aspects of human life. He cited some examples to debunk the misinformation and disinformation related to Climate Change. The guest speaker emphasised on checking the credibility of sources being used for reporting on climate change stories. He referred to the practice of ‘Greenwashing’ whereby products, activities, or policies are made to look more environment friendly or less damaging than they actually are.

He referred to international climate negotiations. Sharing the reporting and writing tips, Mr. Shakoor also conducted some group and individual exercises among students including pitching a local climate change news story, deciding about the relevance of sources and using research papers for drawing information.

Mr. Shakoor comes with a rich industry experience of over 12 years. He has also authored a novel ‘Life in the Clock Tower Valley’ which was published in 2021 and was listed among the ‘Best Fiction’ works by GQ magazine. Shakoor has won several fellowships and grants to cover important news events globally from organisations such as the National Press Foundation, Stockholm International Water Institute, Earth Journalism Network, and Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

He has travelled widely in connection with his work. He has reported from 15 countries, including the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada, the UN Climate Conference in Spain, the Lindau Nobel Laureates Conference in Germany, the World Water Week in Sweden, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in China.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal, Prof. (Dr.) Ruhi Jan Kanth said media plays an important role in generating awareness about climate change. In this context, she said the session was quite relevant given the long-term threats posed by climate change. She also referred to the erratic weather in Kashmir in recent past which is often attributed to climate change. The Principal also felicitated the guest speaker with a memento.

Earlier while introducing the guest and the theme, Head, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Dr. Suhail Ahmad said Climate Change has emerged as one of the key news topics in recent times. Besides ensuring proper media coverage of climate change, he said journalism students also need to be made aware about its implications and how they can contribute to address the global issue.


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