A coastal freighter breaches a climate change seawall during a king tide at Tarawa, Kiribati. Image: Kiribati Independent and PMC.

Event date and time:  Wednesday, March 11, 2015 – 17:00 – 19:00 – Submitted by Dr David Robie (PMC)

A coastal freighter breaches a climate change seawall during a king tide at Tarawa, Kiribati. Image: Kiribati Independent and PMC.
A coastal freighter breaches a climate change seawall during a king tide at Tarawa, Kiribati. Image: Kiribati Independent and PMC.

PMC SEMINAR 1/15: ETHICAL REPORTING OF ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS: People are not receiving available information about expected risks and remedies as climate change escalates. People get most of their information about science from the media. Therefore, inadequate reporting of risks and remedies becomes a matter of journalistic ethics. 

A doctoral thesis by Dr Jan Sinclair showed that the news media have framed climate change as political but not physical, global therefore not local, and a problem for “others” but not for “us”. 

For example, recent news stories have warned that the US South West faces escalating drought problems in coming decades. This warning first surfaced in 1990, in the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 

The New York Times mentioned these risks just three times between 1990-2007. News media in both developed and developing countries have focused on the solutions of emission reductions but have ignored the escalating risks to human health, environments and economies.

This failure to warn populations of likely dangers applies both to Pacific journalists, and journalists from developed countries.                                                                                       

The seminar will be introduced by PMC director Professor David Robie and will feature two main speakers:

Science communication specialist Dr Jan Sinclair (Massey University) began reporting on climate change in 1987.  Her PhD investigated why journalists ignored scientific warnings in favour of political controversies.

Doctoral candidate and Kiribati Independent editor Taberannang Korauaba (AUT University) who has recently conducted field work in Micronesia and will discuss climate change issues and the media especially from a Pacific perspective.

All welcome.

Venue: WG608, Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT City Campus

When: 5-7pm

Organised by the AUT Pacific Media Centre

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.