Media coverage of climate change information in Tanzania

Emmanuel Frank Elia (Department of Information Studies, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Publication date: 1 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate on themes covered by media and factors affecting coverage of climate change information in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 85 journalists from five local media were identified using snowballing and purposive methods where quantitative methods were applied.

Findings

The results show nearly a half (49 per cent) of the journalists yet to receive training on climate change, with the majority (77 per cent) of organisations providing such training being non-local. The majority (79.8 per cent) of media houses lack editorial policies. Findings show journalists mostly cover information on climate impact and adaptation (49.3 per cent) followed by weather and climate trends (33.8 per cent), while the least covered topics are on renewable energy and climate and poverty (1.4 per cent).

Practical implications

The results imply journalists lack training on climate change. This may result into low and poor quality coverage of climate change information and inadequate public awareness and understanding. The study concludes that challenges in verifying information from a source, media lack of editorial policy and little exposure and access to specific internet climate change information sources may affect public agenda setting, coverage and adaptation to climate change. It is suggested that a policy be established to foster on access to climate information through frequent short training which expose journalists to new knowledge and networking.

Originality/value

This study contributes to literature and knowledge on climate themes reported in developing countries and factors influencing coverage of climate change.

Keywords

Citation

Emmanuel Frank Elia (2019) "Media coverage of climate change information in Tanzania", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 68 No. 4/5, pp. 258-274

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/GKMC-11-2018-0090

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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