Climate change and global warming are issues which are constantly reappearing in the global media. As a result, there are often contradictions of information, statistics and opinions which differ depending on the publication.
Currently climate change is drastically affecting multiple smaller countries in the Pacific region. Kiribati has become on of the most significantly impacted islands. Consequently, there has been discussion of moving the residents of the island to Australia. This then raises questions of their status as individuals as they are being stereotyped by some as refugees. (Dreher, 2014) Because they are being forced to vacate their island due to it no longer being a liveable climate, the people of Kirabatis do not identify themselves as refugees. Refugees are often classed as people feeling the oppression of their own government unlike the Kirabatis community who are leaving due to the rising water levels. They want to migrate with dignity and be considered partners in a negotiation rather than be considered a charity case.
To attempt to promote the issues islands such as Kiribati face a group of activists known as The Pacific Calling Partnership have begun representing the individuals which face the effects of climate change. They have caught the attention of people across the globe and they successfully managed to pass a bill to control emissions.
When reporting issues such as climate change journalists must make sure they avoid issues of ‘false balance’ and ‘superficial balance’ – where they tell both sides of the story – as it can lead to informational bias.
Lyytimäki, J 2009, ‘Mulling over the Climate Debate: Media Education on Climate Change’,Journal of Sustainable Development, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 29-33.
Dreher, T 2014, ‘Global crises, Global news: Pacific Calling Partnership’, lecture, BCM111, University of Wollongong, delivered 8 October.