Nothing demonstrated the global need for better information more than the COVID-19 pandemic: In many parts of the world, including East Africa, ideas that the pandemic was a “punishment from God” or that it only affected the elderly continued to circulate, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
Now, those same trends are increasingly visible in climate mis/disinformation. Deceptive or misleading content undermines the existence, drivers and impacts of climate change as well as the need for urgent climate action. In Africa, for example, climate misinformation spurs practices that increase fossil fuel use, exacerbate deforestation and result in inadequate preparation for extreme weather events and public health crises. At the same time, it erodes trust in climate scientists and the media.
In this webinar, we sought to understand how journalists in the region experience climate mis/disinformation. What are the trends to watch out for in Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya, and how can journalists combat prevalent false narratives with evidence-based and accurate information?
- Jennie King — Head of Climate Research and Policy at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue
- Kiundu Waweru — Project Manager for the East Africa Wildlife Journalism Project at Internews' Earth Journalism Network
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