Glenn Ashton, SACSIS columnist, argued that the nature of the media is really the polarized nature of the media. It doesn't seem to matter much, for example, that the debate over climate denialism is over, it still seems to crop up in newspapers.
Ashton also added that the business media had not picked up on the issue of climate adaptation and how it can be used to kick start local economies.
The debate on power generation always focuses on big things such as nuclear energy and big power stations, but very little is ever said about alternative energy. In this regard there is a polarization of the debate and the media remains very conservative in the positions that it takes.
Ashton made these remarks at a roundtable discussion, which sought to ascertain how the South African media is reporting on climate change in the run up to COP17. The roundtable was co-hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office and the South African Civil Society Information Service. It took place on November 11, 2011.
Keynote speakers at the event included: Brendan Boyle (Editor, Daily Dispatch), Sue Blaine (Environment and Development Editor, Business Day), Prof. Herman Wasserman, (Deputy Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University), Bobby Peek (Director, Groundwork) and Saliem Fakier (Head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund and SACSIS columnist).