ABOUT 20 Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) officers underwent a two-day training program to better understand the role of the media in disseminating weather information.
Organised and facilitated by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) at the behest of the FMS, the workshop was designed to build capacities and also to educate weather men and women how the media worked.
FMS' Manager Forecasting Misaele Funaki said past experience had shown a need for staff members to be skilled in dealing with the media and revealed that changes were needed to the manner in which weather reports were issued.
"We saw the need for FMS to build its capacity in how forecasters handled the media, whether in press conferences, interviews or preparing press releases," he said.
"Events that arose when the recent floods affected the Western Division showed us that we as an organisation had to use the media in the best possible way to relate importance of weather updates and forecasts so that the ordinary people like farmers, commuters and fishermen understand the importance of weather."
Mr Funaki also said the recent merger of the Water Authority of Fiji's Hydrology Department with the FMS meant that forecasters needed to be better equipped to handling media enquiries especially during times of inclement weather.