Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under Secretary-General, proposed a five point call for action, urging media to use their skills and resources to create greater impact on sustainable development, the single most important challenge in Asia Pacific, and ensure more people benefit from development.
“Media organizations cannot afford to be value neutral. I encourage them to focus and write more on sustainable development stories, as they can shape attitudes and behavior for a better future ” she told participants to the Asia Media Summit today (May 29) in Bangkok.
The call for action seeks media initiatives to be more engaged directly, to allocate more resources and to build capacity of journalists in pursuing development stories. It also involves promoting media literacy and ensuring more people access to various delivery platforms.
“I always hear feedbacks that during slow news days, stories on sustainable development get broadcast. It is time we improve this situation. It is not enough for media to leave sustainable development stories to alternative media or to public service broadcasting,” she said.
Dr. Heyzer who is also Executive Secretary of UNESCAP said they need to take a more active role and write sustainable development stories everyday that connect the dots dealing with climate change, disaster, food scarcity, and energy waste. She said media should no longer consider these development issues as jargons, but news that people need.