Pastoralism needs better press coverage
Mobile pastoralism contributes substantially to food security, livelihoods and economic prosperity, and can increase resilience to climate change, but policymakers, donors and the general public tend not to appreciate its benefits. Policy narratives portray pastoralism as outdated, and the media stories that help shape policy processes and public opinion often contribute to these false portrayals. An IIED study “Following the herd: why pastoralism needs better media coverage” (study report, 20pp; brief, 4pp) analysed the content of media stories in Kenya, China and India, and surveyed journalists in these countries. It identified significant knowledge gaps in how journalists perceive and portray pastoralism. It also found that media outlets in these countries under-report climate change, the economic value of pastoralism and the links between pastoralist mobility and resilience. It concludes that journalists, researchers and pastoralists need to work together to improve media coverage of pastoralism and highlight pastoralism’s potential contribution to sustainable development in a changing climate.