IPS Africa led a team of reporters that produced ten days of outstanding coverage of the climate change negotiations that took place in Durban, South Africa over the past weeks. During the last four days of the official negotiations a twelve-page printed TerraViva supplement was included daily as part of The New Age newspaper, distributed inside the conference hall to the delegates and to its usual readership across KwaZulu Natal province.
The supplement also highlighted the work of an IPS partnership with South Africa’s Media Development and Diversity Agency to support community media to cover COP17. Nine reporters from community newspapers across South Africa attended IPS Africa training and then provided daily coverage of COP17 issues.
This coverage was complemented by a COP 17 side event in partnership with Durban University of Technology’s school of journalism to review community media coverage of climate change. “We are sitting on the deficit of knowledge in terms of understanding climate change,” said MDDA Board Member Phelisa Nkomo. Nkomo was joined on the panel by Ann Lamont, Greenpeace Africa Executive Director, and Paula Fray, Regional Director of Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa. Advocate Robin Sewlal, from the Durban University of Technology where the event took place, served as moderator.
Other African newspapers across the continent also welcomed the coverage. Apart from the good print story uptake, the multi-media work was well-received too. The daily radio diary was re-tweeted by UNDP’s Helen Clark, the former prime minister of New Zealand, just one of hundreds of re-tweets sharing the IPS news out of Durban. In December 2011 IPS’s feed @ipsenvironment was cited as one of the top 50 green experts to follow on twitter.
All the impact was premised on the IPS team of journalists and editors in Durban, Johannesburg, Montevideo and around the world working to make sense of everything that was happening on the ground. Read the final analysis of what was (not) achieved Agreement for New Global Treaty To Reduce Emissions, catch up on how community media covered the COP mentored by IPS, listen to podcasts and browse pdf editions of the daily newspaper.
IPS looks forward to continuing its focus on environment and development at the Rio + 20 conference in Brazil in June 2012 and at COP 18 in Qatar.
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