Media disinformers involved in UNESCO's media training workshops (15/10/2004)
Among the organisers was the industry-backed ISAAA as one of its co-organisers. The ISAAA's pro-GM propaganda activities have been repeatedly brought into question.
It is known that industry scientists are contributing to these workshops and yet there is no mention of any involvement from civil society. If that's the case, This is a peculiarly selective vision of "multi-stakeholder" involvement.
For more on the CGIAR:
For more on ISAAA:
More on ISAAA's misleading media information:
Covering Biotech: Issues and Opportunities for the News Media
About thirty journalists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have attended a workshop on reporting biotechnology issues in the media at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, this week. The event was organized by UNESCO, the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).
From 11-13 October, the participants heard briefings and views on biotechnology and genetic modification from scientists and policy makers as well as from industry representatives. These sessions were rounded off by a brief tour of ICRISAT's biotechnology facilities, including a visit to a field actually planted with GM (genetically modified) pigeonpea.
An important component of the workshop was on science writing, based on a newly created unit in UNESCO’s Multimedia training Kit (MMTK). "This turned out to be a particularly interesting and valuable exercise, because it stimulated a lively debate on the ethics of journalism, especially while covering a controversial, intricate subject like biotechnology" says Dilip D’Souza, one of the participants of the workshop.
All the participants found the workshop useful, and an eye-opener in many ways. This applied not just to the journalists, but also to scientists, who were able to appreciate how journalists work, and what their concerns are. This was a good exchange of views. "I think it is fair to say that as a result, the coverage of biotechnology issues will move beyond, and well beyond, 'Frankenfoods'" said another participant.
This workshop was part of UNESCO's initiatives on training journalists to write and report on issues concerning sustainable development and producing and disseminating media resources modules and promoting multi-stakeholders partnerships and networks for this purpose.