The AIBs’ new People’s Choice category, focused this year on programmes dealing with climate change, is limited to television programmes. This is because, unfortunately, it is difficult to ask an international audience to judge radio programmes because of language barriers. At least with television we can (and will) provide subtitles in a range of languages for the programs to be chosen by popular vote, and the online viewers can see the original output and understand the way that the story is treated. With radio, in order to convey the quality of a programme, a translation has to be very precise and convey the original intonation and expression. We hope that AIB members and other colleagues working in radio will forgive us that we were not able to include radio this year.
This is a pity since there are many good examples of radio programmes dealing with climate change. Only this week it was possible to hear:
- Vatican Radio reporting on Pope Benedict XVI expressing serious concern for the plight of herders in Mongolia, where extreme weather conditions threaten the livelihood of hundreds of thousands. The Pope stated that “environmental issues, particularly those related to climate change, are global issues and need to be addressed on a global level”
- Vermont Public Radio (VPR) on the effects of climate change at Lake Champlain, which now often fails to freeze over in winter. This visible result brings home the reality of the changes to local people. While it causes problems, Curt Stager of Paul Smith’s College in the northern Adirondacks points out “It’s a mix of good news and bad news in a way. The bad news is that climate change is likely to amplify some of our existing environmental problems. And the good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to deal with that.”
- MetadelPlaneta, the first radio programme in Mexico about climate change, appealing for funds
- an online podcast about Project Survival Pacific, discussing the danger to low-lying islands in the Pacific of rising sea levels and how the islanders are reacting
However, there were claims that the 4th International Conference on Climate Change hosted by the Heartland Institute was not given coverage by the media. But you can catch up here to see video and audio of the conference as it is posted.
The programmes mentioned above show how radio broadcasts can bring to life personal stories of how climate affects individuals all over the world. But the continuing wide divergence of views about what change is happening, what causes it, how damaging it is and what we should do, still challenges the listeners ability to put facts into perspective and broadcasters ability to shed light.