Editors’ Roundtable at Regional Journalists’ Workshop Provides Insight into News Coverage of Climate Change Stories


On 5 February, ICIMOD organized an editor’s roundtable as part of the Regional Journalists’ workshop being organized at its headquarters under the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP). At this two-hour session, 20 journalists from China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan interacted with editors from major English and vernacular media outlets in Nepal. Chaired by Dr David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, the session was moderated by Vidhu Kayastha, a communication expert and one of four workshop facilitators. 

At the roundtable, editors presented their observations of how important climate change issues in the mountains were presented in their publications and news outlets and discussed issues of climate change journalism with participants. Issues discussed included the compartmentalization of climate change stories, and the need to better show linkages between climate change issues and mainstream stories as well as the challenges and need to translate technical data and scientific jargon to increase understanding of climate change among the general public. 

Editors and participating journalists also discussed the need for proper scientific backing to develop compelling and accurate stories on the impacts and drivers of climate change, for which Anouhita Majumdar, Associate Editor at Himal Southasian, noted institutions like ICIMOD could support through targeted information for journalists. Other points included the role of social media and how climate change stories are presented in vernacular publications. Representatives from ICIMOD shared that as a research institute, ICIMOD’s primary goal is to dissect hard science and make it accessible to partners, policy makers, media, and the general public. Nand Kishore Agrawal, Coordinator of HICAP, noted that this regional workshop paved the way for a collaborative effort with the media fraternity in communicating the impacts of climate variability to a broader audience.