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Highway Africa --World's largest Conference of African journalists

A communal town in the outskirts of Port Elizabeth-South Africa, witnessed the arrival of seven hundred journalists across Africa to attend the world's largest conference of African journalists: Highway Africa Conference. this conference took place from the 8th to the 11th of September 2008
The conference is organised annually to educate african journalists on the various uses of Information and Communication Technology in journalism. The theme for this year's Highway Conference focused on Citizen journalism in the 21st century. However, the climate of this little town, Grahamstown should have clicked the minds of the organisers that Climate change is an issue to discuss when discourses of ICT are deliberated upon.
This is how a Ugandan journalist describes his experience "my lips are dry, very dry. When I touch them they feel like cracked feet in the Atacama Desert. This is the price I pay for doing things last minute. Before leaving Uganda, I didn’t sit down to check the Internet to learn about Grahamstown, the host city for Highway Africa". The weather in Grahamstown is special. At one moment it is rainy, the next minutes it is windy and the next hours it is freezing cold but really sunny.I believe journalists across the world must begin to reflect on the environmental hazards posed by compterised gadgets or face the consequences of unpredictable weather conditions detrimental to human survival. I am talking about clean energy, re-cycled printing systems etc and most importantly, emphasis should be laid on how ICT can curb climate change. My discussion topic is the role of ICT in combating climate change.

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I wonder why no one talks of the toxic waste generated by computers. When one talks of ICTs and climate change, and how beneficial these are for the environment, especially since they help save on paper and hence preserve forests,scant thought is spared for the tonnes of discarded metals that make up every computer. When these are broken down for recycling in the poor developing nations, and that too by poor young hands, they cause irreversible damage. Not to speak of the environmental toll taken in the process!
Hi Rina

Noemi Mercier has just won this year's Reuters-IUCN Environmental Media Award for reporting on this topic...

According to the website "the story 'Our computers are poisoning the planet', reveals how computers exported to India for their supposedly eco-friendly recycling are dismantled under the poorest conditions, poisoning thousands of people and the environment."

See: http://www.iucn.org/news_events/events/congress/live/index.cfm?uNew...

Best wishes
Mike
Yes, I know, Mike. But then, very little has been appearing on this-at least in India.

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