Several organizations, researchers, and citizens work to highlight the issue of rising air pollution and its severe impacts on human health. Media is also a key stakeholder, having a crucial role to play. Well-informed and regular reporting on air pollution by the media would not only build the awareness of the citizens but also ensure that policymakers take the issue seriously. This could result in some accountability on everyone’s part. Keeping this in mind, SwitchON Foundation organized a Virtual Round Table on Clean Air and Climate Change on the occasion of National Press Day. This workshop will be crucial in galvanizing Bengal’s action on air pollution.
1. Access, Interpret & Construct: Orientation of journalists and journalism students (media personnel) to access and interpret the issue of air quality, and health data around it, and to write data-supported stories.
2. Actions & Solutions: Familiarization of the media personnel with policies, actions, and solutions related to air pollution.
3. Inform, Educate & Engage: Equip media personnel writing in Bengali to be able to inform, educate, and engage the general public on the air pollution issue.
4. Capacity building and workshops: Take up workshops at a regional level and at a district level to build the capacity to report on the issue.
The key speakers for the event were Dr. Arup Haldar, Consultant Pulmonologist, Woodlands Multi-Speciality Hospital, Shri Ashirbad Raha, Communication Director, EPIC INDIA-University of Chicago, Smt. Ekta Jaju, Founder and CEO ONganic Foods, Shri Kundan Pandey, Contributing Editor of Mongabay, Dr. Sarika Verma, ENT Surgeon and Allergy Specialist Warrior Mom’s and Shri Snehasis Sur, President of Kolkata Press Club.