Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

Environmental Reporting 101

with 2 comments

We recently took part in a RUMNET initiated workshop for journalists; all about environmental reporting. When we were first advised that this was happening, Mar quickly volunteered her expertise in matters related to environmental reporting (that being the PROCESS within Australia of getting major projects through the hurdles). Our RUMNET colleagues were delighted, and quickly jumped at the opportunity. Later Mark cautioned that this *may not* be the definition of environmental reporting they had in mind. And indeed, a few days before the workshop, Mar discovered that for once…. Mark was indeed correct. One to Mark. Oh well. (NB: approximate score – not that anyone is counting: Mar 836,475…. Mark: 1).

We were thanking Allah that the internet was available when we needed it the most. We were quickly able to source material for two presentations. (Environmental Reporting, as journalists do in newspapers…. and an introduction to Climate Change). Little did we realize that we were, in fact, providing the material for what turned out to be one half of the entire workshop!

A good example of the tolerance and religious fervor of the Ghanaians was demonstrated at the workshop; a Muslim prayer opened the session, a Christian one closed it.

Welcome to the Environmental Reporting WorkshopOne of our RUMNET colleagues had prepared his portion of the presentation on flipcharts. The more technologically savvy amongst us were feeling rather smug with our Powerpoint Presentations. A small problem ensued when Mark, ever eager to assist, lined up the “cooling fan” for the overhead video projector the wrong way…. and most of the morning session was seriously impacted by an overheating machine. Old technology: one point; Western smugness: zero.

We were fortunate to have the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (for the Northern Region) at the workshop (EPA). Abu is an extremely committed man; perfect for the onerous task he is undertaking. Among several compelling anecdotes, he provided one story of a disgruntled project proponent, who showed up at his office, with assault rifle firmly in hand; demanding approval for his project. Abu had the coolness of a cucumber, and informed him that “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and proceeded to advise that he had no intention of approving the project until all criterion had been addressed. Not sure we would have been quite so principled, or so cool!!!

At the end of the workshop, Mar discovered she has a face for radio! Radio InterviewNot one, but two of the participants cornered her for interviews for their radio programs!   In addition to the two interviews, Mar also did some “promos”, so if you are travelling in the Upper West Region of Ghana, you’ll hear Mar spruiking her favorite radio station!  Radio Progress!!!

All told, a very successful workshop, with the journalists committing to raising the awareness of environmental issues with their audiences. It was also agreed to form a network of environmental journalists in the region (Media Advocates for Sustainable Environments – MASE). Well done!


Written by Mar(k)

October 30, 2009 at 6:15 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Mark and Mar,
    It looks like that the Ghanian Adventure is going fine. You will soon have a lot of materials to write a book ot two (or movies, so take lots of digital photo and video clips). Could be better than both Indiana Jones and Steve Irwin!



    Thomas Mason

    October 31, 2009 at 9:54 am

  2. Hey Mark (and Mar), well done and good luck with this work, stay well. I am back riding my bike in Melbourne…any chance to ride over there? Stay well and stay safe


    November 4, 2009 at 3:18 am

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