Concern on Poor Environmental Reportage

By Staff Reporter

The level of environmental reporting currently in Zimbabwe is below par given the importance of the beat in raising awareness on the subject, this was heard at the annual Environment Reporter of the Year awards on Thursday

The  23rd Environmental Reporter of the Year awards were organised by Environment Africa  and funded by Rainbow Tourism Group.

Presenting the judges report, EMA’s Joyce Chapungu said as judges they noted a ‘decline in quality reporting on  the environment’.

“We have noted a decline in the quality of reporting of environmental issues from the 150 entries we received  for this edition compared to yester-years.

“Some of the entries lacked basic tenets of journalism while others were mostly events based articles,” she said.

However, she said despite this worrying concern , there is an emergence of young journalists who are proving their mettle in reporting on the environment.

“But despite this concern, we also noted that we have a crop of young journalists who are coming with exceptional  story-telling techniques when reporting on the environment and these are among the winners of this year’s awards,”Chapungu added.

The judges  as a recommendation urged the EA and RTG to consider involving editors by conducting workshops to appraise them on environment issues. They also believe that there is the need for robust training programmes to equip journalists with the latest story-telling techniques that include using various multi-media formats. The other judges were Forestry Commission spokesperson Violet Makoto and Herald’s Science and Innovation Editor Sifelani Tsiko.

The event witnessed journalists being awarded for the best story in climate change, waste management and recycling, gender and the environment, wildlife conversation, sustainable livelihoods, water and sanitation ,renewable energy and sustainable forest management categories.

Among the winners are  Radio VOP contributor Tafadzwa Muranganwa who got  the best sustainable forest management story , Sunday Mail reporter Leeroy Dzenga clinched the water and sanitation award and Bustop Tv’s  Lucky Aaron who  scooped the best climate change story and the Overall Environment Reporter of the Year gongs.