Coverage of climate change by the broadcast media in Zambia: a case of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation TV1

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Wandi, Katendi N
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The University of Zambia
This study examined the coverage of climate change issues in the broadcast media in Zambia using a case of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV1. Particularly, it aimed to establish: the frequency of reporting climate change issues on ZNBC TV1; the dominant themes of climate change reported on ZNBC TV1; challenges those journalists at ZNBC face when covering climate change issues; and the influence of climate change stories on the lives of the audience. To achieve the above, the study used both quantitative and qualitative research methods in the collection of data. Questionnaires were administered to the audience and also to journalists and editors at ZNBC. In depth interviews were conducted with experts and content analysis was done. The study used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel to analyse the data. Firstly, the findings of the study did confirm the perceptions that the coverage of climate change by ZNBC TV1 is minimal across the three units of analysis; news, documentaries and current affairs programmes. Secondly, the study found that ZNBC TV1 concentrated on specific dominant themes that were mainly aligned to agriculture. Thirdly, the study established that the coverage of climate change was characterised by several challenges, including limited available sources to interview, limitations in climate change related materials and lack of specialised training. Fourthly, the study found that the public lacked enough sensitisation of climate change and as such, had to a large extent not effected meaningful change on their lives as individuals or as a community. From the findings, the study recommends that ZNBC TV1 and the media in general should: 1) Expand and diversify their information source base in order to cover the subject comprehensively.2) Partner with climate change departments and organisations to cover more of other issues related to climate change and to have resources and knowledge on the subject.3) Cover climate change more from a social perspective and include the political aspect for solutions in order to make it interesting and educative for the audience.4) Set up deliberate learning programmes or training workshops with the help of climate change organisations in order for them to better understand climate change and to be motivated and interested in prioritising its coverage and 5) Colleges and universities should enhance the training on coverage of climate change, seeing it is a topical subject.
Climate change--Zambia , Media coverage--Climate change--Zambia