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World experts head speakers for 2nd ABU Global News Forum

Some of the Asia-Pacific’s leading journalists and climate specialists will be heading the list of speakers at this year’s ABU Global News Forum in Japan.

The Union’s Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi says their combined expertise together with the knowledge and experience of a host of attendees from throughout the region and around the world will make the 2nd GNF in Sendai from 15-16 March a landmark media industry event for 2015. 

“It is rare to get so many experienced and informed experts together in one place at the same time,” Dr Mottaghi says. “The NHK is noted for its ability to bring together leaders in their fields to share their knowledge and this year’s GNF is no exception.” 

Hosted by Japanese national broadcaster NHK, the 2015 GNF is being held in parallel with the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, so the theme of discussions will be the role of media in disaster situations. It will also coincide with an ABU News Group meeting that brings together the news heads of many of the Asia-Pacific’s leading broadcasters.

The growing list of speakers includes news correspondents and producers such as Takashi Fukushima (TBS-Japan), Mark Corcoran (ABC-Australia) and Aya Lowe (Philippine Correspondent for Channel NewsAsia). The GNF will also hear from climate and weather experts such as Bryan Norcross, Senior Hurricane Specialist at The Weather Channel, Professor Rajib Shaw of the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies of Kyoto University, and Michael Williams, Chief of Communications and Public Affairs for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Dr Mottaghi says the GNF was launched in 2013 to establish an open and high-profile dialogue among broadcast journalists around the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

The host city, Sendai, was one of the worst stricken areas of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which killed more than 15,000 people, and Dr Mottaghi says this will reinforce the importance expertise from NHK, which has been at the front line of disaster warnings and communications for disaster preparedness.

“Climate change will dominate the world agenda in the next 50 years,” he says. “Unless the news media are prepared for it, how can our audiences and the region’s peoples ever hope to navigate it?”

Online registration and further information, including the program and updated list of speakers, are available at the GNF website.