[MEDIA RELEASE] PANAS! Malaysia’s first digital media toolkit for climate change reporting launched


In conjunction with World Environment Day on June 5, 2021, Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia announces the launch of PANAS!, Malaysia’s first digital toolkit targeted towards Malaysian journalists, writers and content makers with an interest in reporting on environmental and climate change topics. 

In collaboration with the British High Commission Kuala Lumpur and EcoKnights, the objective of the PANAS! digital toolkit is to provide an overview of the impact of climate change in Malaysia, a list of important resources such as local and international climate action initiatives, potential experts/spokespersons and useful tips in writing climate change stories in the media. It provides guidance and resources for journalists covering climate change topics by referencing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. Apart from highlighting the considerations when reporting on climate change issues, this PANAS! digital toolkit also includes important resources such as a listing of scientists and spokespersons on climate change-related topics and local climate action initiatives in Malaysia. 

Conceptualised, written and prepared by the PANAS! Project team members composed of Tan Su Lin, Dr Renard Siew, Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar, Dr Law Yao Hua and Kevin Bathman. Su Lin, the Team Leader and co-founder of SMC said, “While the nature of Malaysian media coverage tends to be reactive, however when empowered, it has the potential to take on a more proactive role to inform, inspire and encourage all stakeholders to take action toward reducing the impacts of climate change. For journalists new to climate change reporting, this PANAS! digital toolkit looks into the background on climate change coverage in Malaysia, while highlighting some important elements of climate change reporting including tips on finding  climate change stories. It is our hope that this toolkit will equip local journalists with the necessary tools to produce quality evidence-based reporting and in the long term, continue to inspire other climate change stories in the future.”

Dr Renard Siew, another team member of PANAS! and climate reality leader in Malaysia adds, “The content of the PANAS! Digital toolkit is written and collated by a team of experienced media and communications professionals, science journalists, as well as climate change experts and researchers. All the information provided on this toolkit has been fact-checked by subject matter experts consisting of journalists, media professionals and science communicators.”

Dr Law Yao Hua, Editor of Macaranga, a journalism portal covering the environment and sustainability in Malaysia and Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar, founder of Klima Action Malaysia (KAMY), both team members of PANAS Project added, “We know that journalists are often on tight deadlines and are in constant need of sources. In this toolkit you will find a list of credible climate change experts and relevant bodies to interview, as well as a list of resources such as important national and international climate policies, newsletters and international climate journalism fellowships. While climate change jargon can be hard to grasp, fret not, we have included a glossary of climate change terms and its definitions for your quick reference.”

Adilah Arshad, Editor & Strategic Research and Data at Astro Awani said “This toolkit is a game-changer on reporting of climate change in Malaysia and ASEAN region and puts SMC as the hub for all science communication centres.”

Qishin Tariq Albasrawy, President Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJM) said ”this is a great primer for journalists, not just as a helpful starter for those unfamiliar with climate reporting, but will also enable deeper dives by connecting them with experts on the field”.

Additionally, this toolkit has also been written and designed to be user-friendly for the general public who has an interest in this topic. Updated regularly, the PANAS! digital toolkit welcomes suggestions from the media industry and the general public for additional information, corrections or suggestions for improvements.

In the face of climate change, journalists and content creators increasingly play a major role to help accelerate climate action through advocacy and education. As part of the PANAS! Project, SMC announced nine climate change stories in four languages, English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil last month by journalists, writers and content creators, Nicole Fong, Ashley Yeong, Poorani Kannan, Nimal Raj, Sunesha Munisamy, Dr Nur Hazwani Bahar, Rekha Sevaloga Nathan, Elanggo Munian and Lim Ann Gee. 

Read more about PANAS! Climate Change Stories in Malaysia Project here.


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