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By Pita Ligaiula in Honiara, Solomon Islands
Media plays an important role in disseminating climate change and weather reporting in the Pacific.
Speaking at the Pacific Island Media and Meteorological Services Workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands Met Service acting director Lloyd Tahani emphasised the need for Met Services to work together with the media.
“Media is very important because people listen to the media when information is given. It really helps advance the information to those people we cannot reach but have access to radio to listen to and so the media in an important partner to meteorological services.
“Media acts as a mediator between people and Met services and secondly the media needs to have more knowledge on scientific terminology that Met service use, so that when information reaches the media they will know what it is and how to use it and tailor them to the community’s benefits,” Tahani said.
SPREP’s Climate Prediction Service coordinator, Sunny Seuseu says the role of the media is crucial in the work of Met Services in the region.
“For this second Pacific Meteorology Council we want to engage with the media more. We are technical people and we are not good communicators. That’s why you are here, you communicate, and you reach out. We realise that we need to work closely with the media. We are now promoting that engagement in the national level in trying to bring these two bodies together. But the extension of Met services will be media and you need to work with us to bridge that gap.
“We are thinking of creating a section within Met services that people can be able to communicate, putting communication in Met services and their role will be to liaise with all media outlets. That’s why some countries we work with have already developed their media guides and plans so that Met Services can disseminate information effectively, so people will know what we are doing. We understand it’s very crucial in term of the services we provide,” said Sunny.
He said all Met services across the region are trying to diversify their mode of communication.
“At the moment there are only few available that are traditionally used- that is radio, fax and some use email, but we see social media coming up.
“We want to do our own video production and put online and people can share on Facebook and YouTube, because the council in the overall Met Strategy that govern our work supports that development and work closely with you (media),” he said.
A total of 30 journalists are taking part in the three day media workshop in Honiara.
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media