‘Media must be made better aware of environment, wildlife issues’

A trio of tigers at the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of which recently crossed over to the Adilabad district and became the subject of many a media report.

A trio of tigers at the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of which recently crossed over to the Adilabad district and became the subject of many a media report.   | Photo Credit: BY ARRANGEMENT

Informed reportage will ensure safety of animals, says a forester

The media has come in for criticism for its reports on increased tiger movement in Adilabad, Kumram Bheem Asifabad, and Mancherial districts in the past few weeks, with experts and others pointing out the inherent ‘inadequacies’ in the reportage.

“Instead of making people celebrate the arrival of tigers into our territory, the media is ending up scaring the common man through its reportage,” said a senior Forest Department official. He cited a news report of a migrant tiger killing cattle in Tamsi and Bheempur mandals of Adilabad district.

Knowledge gap

“Sometimes, half-baked media reports put even poachers on the trail of wild animals, especially migrant tigers. Proper, informed reportage would ensure safety of wild animals, instead of scaring people,” the official on condition of anonymity added. He emphasised the need for better awareness on the subject among mediapersons.

V. Rakesh, a senior journalist with a Telugu news channel in the former composite Adilabad district, concurred with the official’s viewpoint. “Yes, many of us need to understand the importance of conservation in the proper perspective and an interaction with experts from the Forest Department will be of help,” he asserted.

Interactions needed

Ecologist Vidya Athreya narrated an experiment on improving interactions between experts and media, which centered on leopard movement around Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, in the wildlife and nature conservation portal, Conservation India. The article published on June 17, 2018, concluded that engagement with media changed the way human-wildlife interactions were reported.

Kawal Tiger Reserve Field director C.P. Vinod Kumar, who is also the Conservator of Forests, Adilabad Circle, welcomed the idea of continuing education on the subject for mediapersons. “We will try to organise awareness programmes for mediapersons at local level,” he affirmed.

State director of World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India, Farida Tampal recalled her organisation’s effort in organising workshops in media houses in Hyderabad a few years ago to put them on to proper websites for tapping information on environment, climate, wildlife etc. correctly. “The media is the best means when it comes to spreading awareness and it is better if is stays updated. Briefing programmes should be held twice or thrice a year,” she suggested.

Mr. Vinod Kumar pointed out, “There are issues like payment of compensation for cattle kills within two to three days of the incident which can be highlighted through the media to prevent locals from getting alarmed unnecessarily.”

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:50:01 AM |

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