Focus on environmental facts on #WorldPressFreedomDay

IMAGE: Namibia Fact Check

#FactsMatter in our discussions and decisions as we respond to climate and environmental challenges

The theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) reflects how pressing environmental and climate concerns have become and how the media needs to respond to these issues. UNESCO states that the day is “dedicated to the importance of journalism and freedom of expression in the context of the current global environmental crisis”.

The theme of #WPFD 2024 is ‘A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the Environmental Crisis‘.

As a dry-lands region of the world, the environmental and climate crises are very much in the face of Namibia, but much still needs to be done by the local news media to tell the stories of these intersecting crises impactfully.

At the same time, Namibians are being exposed to all sorts of environmental and climate change related mis- and disinformation online, especially via social media. Of course, this is a worldwide problem.

“Dis- and misinformation about environmental issues can lead to a lack of public and political support for climate action, effective policies, and the protection of vulnerable communities affected by climate change, as well as of women and girls, as climate change tends to exacerbate existing inequalities.”


The United Nations (UN) states that for journalists and the news media to play an effective role in confronting the environmental and climate crises, the following has to prevail:

  • “Preventing and protecting against crimes committed against journalists.   
  • Ensuring the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of scientific research, and access to key sources of information, in addition to combating dis-/misinformation through journalism.   
  • Promoting the plurality, diversity, and viability of media, especially regional, local, indigenous, and/or community-based media.   
  • Ensuring that the governance of digital platforms foster the transparency of technology companies, their accountability, due diligence, user empowerment, and content moderation and curation based on international human rights’ standards, as indicated in UNESCO’s Guidelines for the Governance of Digital Platforms.
  • Promoting Media and Information Literacy programs to empower users with skills to engage and think critically in the digital environment.”

On most of these points, though, Namibia still has a ways to go.

Namibian news media need to heed the clarion call of the theme of this year’s #WorldPressFreedomDay and improve their coverage of environmental and climate related issues as they confront and impact local communities.

To step up environmental and climate reporting, here’s a simple guide by Jamlab.

And for an online resource for climate facts, Namibian journalists are encouraged to make use of the Climate Feedback platform, which “is a worldwide network of scientists sorting fact from fiction in climate change media coverage”.