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More live crosses, more coverage of climate change

Asiavision news producers focused on protocols for live crosses, ways for members to collaborate and measures to improve climate change reporting at the first face-to-face Coordinators’ meeting since 2019. 

The ABU News meeting was held in Putrajaya on March 7-8. Twenty-three delegates from 19 ABU members attended the event. 

Each member shared their approach to major event coverage and live crosses, and discussed opportunities for collaboration beyond the daily exchange of video news items. They then workshopped ways to develop these opportunities, meet the needs of individual members and increase coverage options across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Members also received a briefing on the 2023 United Nations’ World Water Development report, to be released on March 22, by the report’s editor-in-chief Richard Connor. 

The meeting included a half-day workshop on ways to improve climate change reporting. 

The session featured presentations by 360info’s Malaysia editor S. Vicknesan, the co-founder of the Science Media Centre and Communications Manager for WWF Malaysia Tan Su Lin and the founder of Klima Action Malaysia (KAMY), Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar.  

The speakers highlighted the importance of humanising and localising stories and telling audiences what they can do to be part of the solution. 

S Vicknesan said such measures could include reducing reliance on cars and single-use plastics. He highlighted low levels of public education and awareness. 

Tan Su Lin added: “Know the science but talk like a real person.” She encouraged newsrooms to develop their own digital toolkit, with verified information, tips on writing climate stories, lists of local resources, initiatives and useful contacts as well as potential spokespeople. 

She said newsrooms should not give a platform to climate change deniers, noting balance was not appropriate on matters of scientific fact.  

Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar called for newsrooms to have a climate change round, or desk of dedicated climate change reporters. She said without that commitment, newsrooms lack expertise, experience and staffing to report on the most important stories. 

She added: “Climate news reports in Malaysia frequently focus on disasters…follow-ups, if any, tend to be very brief and reactionary.” 

The Asiavision coordinators’ meeting also discussed updates to the Asiavision rules, taking into account changes approved by the ABU News Group. They will be sent to members and published on the ABU news page when they are finalised.