PAVLODAR, Kazakhstan, 25 November 2011 - An OSCE-supported training course on environmental reporting for journalists began yesterday in Pavlodar, Northern Kazakhstan. The two-day course was organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana in co-operation with the MediaNet International Centre for Journalism non-governmental organization and the local administration of the Pavlodar region. It focused on how to professionally report on environmental issues.
Some 25 journalists from Pavlodar, Kostanay, Kokshetau, Petropavlovsk and Ust-Kamenogorsk regions were selected through a competitive process to learn about investigative journalism, environmental reporting and how to promote public participation in environmental governance. Trainers shared contemporary practices and ways to enhance the media’s role in the protection of the environment.
“The media fulfils an important role in promoting public access to environmental information and in including civil society into environmental governance. The OSCE Centre in Astana supports activities designed to enhance journalists' professional skills and knowledge when covering environment protection issues,” said Alexander Peytchev, the OSCE Centre in Astana’s Economic and Environmental Officer. “We are glad that the recently established Aarhus centre in Pavlodar is already taking the lead on important issues of this kind, bringing them to the attention of the wider public.”
“Environmental topics are sometimes wrongly perceived by the public as matters of secondary importance, and thus only of ephemeral interest. For this reason environmental issues should be presented in a way that makes the public view them as central to their civil concerns and everyday life,” said Igor Brattsev, the Director of the MediaNet International Centre for Journalism.
The course in Pavlodar is the second such event in 2011. A previous course that covered four Western Kazakhstan regions was held in Atyrau in the summer. These courses will be followed next year by training seminars in the southern city of Shymkent and in Astana.
The courses are part of the Centre’s work to support Kazakhstan’s efforts to enhance access to information and public participation in environmental issues, and to promote freedom of expression and freedom of the media in line with OSCE principles and commitments.