Twenty eight science journalists and media professionals from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) are currently in Mekong Institute for the Regional Media Training on Communicating Food Safety from July 29 to August 2.
Speaking at the opening remarks, Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia, Director of the Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, highlighted the important role of mass media in putting a spotlight on food safety and raising public consciousness in producing and consuming safe food. “There is growing demand for safe food in our region, especially due to the increasing cases of foodborne illness and lives unnecessarily lost because of unsafe food and water,” Ms. Medialdia emphasized. “Your role, as science communicators and media practitioners, is to initiate conversation on why is there a need to prioritize food safety and eventually push both the public and private sectors to adopt improved food safety policies and practices.”
Organized under MI’s Promoting Safe Food for Everyone (PROSAFE) Project, the one-week workshop targets to strengthen CLMV journalists’ awareness and understanding of key food safety concepts as well as emerging global and local safe food issues. Among this week’s participants are correspondents from the Khmer Times, National Television of Kampuchea, Vientiane Times, Lao National Television, Myanma Radio and Television, Weekly Eleven-The Nation, Tin Tuc Newspaper, and The Voice of Vietnam.
Through the presentations and discussions led by regional food safety and science communication experts, the training program hopes to provide journalists with new perspectives and ideas in handling food safety stories. Ultimately, the program seeks to raise media interest in covering food safety issues in the region. The course will also feature structured learning visits to GAP-certified farms, packinghouses, and fresh produce markets in Khon Kaen.