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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Assessing the needs of environmental journalists

Posted By: Louisette Gouverne and Michael Schweres - responding to Wambui Kiai
Date: Thursday, 31 August 2000, at 3:37 p.m.

In response to: 'Effective communication: strengthening environmental journalism / Kenya' (http://csiwisepractices.org/?read=42) (Wambui Kiai)


Moderator's note: The need for an effective and efficient communication process has been defined as one of the characteristics of wise practices. Earlier contributions to the Forum have discussed ways to strengthen environmental journalism, for instance in Kenya a resource book was produced with the specific goal 'to educate journalists on the concepts of environmental management with a view to demystifying the fundamental principles, which often appear to be too technical for journalists', see http://csiwisepractices.org/?read=42 (and 76, 114, 210). This present contribution is another step towards improving environmental journalism on a global scale.


The International Federation of Environmental Journalist (IFEJ) has launched the first worldwide survey on the education, further training and information needs of journalists and media professionals. All over the world, journalists work on subjects such as 'the environment', 'the protection of nature', 'sustainable development'. In doing so, it is becoming more and more difficult to verify information or to put scientific, technical or economic data into the right context. The environmental information needs of those working in the media are, to a great extent, not known, especially as they differ considerably from country to country. For instance what type of education or training could facilitate and improve journalists' work? In order to better understand these needs, this first worldwide survey amongst journalists and media professionals is being conducted via the Internet. The survey will be online in 4 languages (English, French, Spanish and German) until the end of September at the following addresses: http://www.ifej.org or http://media-survey-2000.comlink.org

The media survey constitutes the start and the first stage of a more far-reaching project. In cooperation with various organizations, education and further training for journalists will be offered, and working aids and media needs will be elaborated in different regions of the world which take the real needs of our colleagues into account.

The concept of the media survey was worked out by Louisette Gouverne and Michael Schweres, who are journalists and managing directors of IFEJ, and are also leading this project. The media survey will be evaluated together with the Munich sociologist, Dr Frithjof Zerger. A preliminary analysis will be presented at the 8th International Environment Journalists' Congress from 13th to 19th November, 2000, in Cairo, Egypt. The complete detailed documentation of the study is planned for the beginning of 2001. The colleagues who participate in this study will receive a first current and global index of addresses of journalists and media professionals on completion of the project.

Further information or inquiries to:
L. Gouverne and M. Schweres,
'bureau de journalistes',
Grande rue,
26400 Beaufort-sur-Gervanne,

Ms. Louisette Gouverne and Mr. Michael Schweres,
International Federation of Environmental Journalists.

The role of environmental journalists in wetland conservation / Tanzania (by Paul Siegel - replying to Louisette Gouverne and Michael Schweres)


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