Ref. :  000038843
Date :  2015-11-26
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

Environmental journalism in an increasingly hostile climate

As Paris prepares to host the COP 21 Climate Change Conference, Reporters Without Borders is today releasing a report entitled “Hostile climate for environmental journalists” that examines the often tragic difficulties for reporters covering environmental issues.


With the environment now recognized as a major challenge for humankind, Reporters Without Borders believes that particular attention should be paid to the journalists who take greats risk to investigate sensitive, environment-related subjects.

The report highlights a steady deterioration in the situation for environmental reporters, who are increasingly exposed to many kinds of pressure, threats and violence.

“The violence against these women and men who investigate in the field, often alone, has reached an unprecedented level in 2015,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “In the COP 21 era, we need to realize that the highly sensitive nature of this subject only too often causes grave problems for those trying to shed light on pollution and other forms of environmental degradation. Their meticulous but dangerous work of gathering and disseminating information is nonetheless vital if we are to achieve the badly needed increase in awareness of the dangers threatening our planet.”

Ten environmental journalists have been murdered since 2010, according to the tally kept by Reporters Without Borders. In the past five years, almost all (90 percent) of these murders have been in South Asia (India) and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Philippines and Indonesia). Two Indian reporters, Jagendra Singh and Sandeep Kothari, were killed in 2015.

Some journalists are threatened, attacked or jailed because of their reporting. At least six Peruvian journalists reported being harassed and roughed up in the spring of 2015. In Uzbekistan, freelance journalist Solidzhon Abdurakhmanov has languished in prison for the past seven years. All of these journalists investigated sensitive environmental subjects such as illegal logging, mining or pollution.

Some governments resort to censorship whenever they are blamed for environmental problems. When “Under The Dome,” an online documentary about air pollution in Beijing, went viral in March, the Chinese Communist Party quickly had it removed from websites. In Ecuador, draconian legislation prevents journalists from covering oil drilling in the Yasuni National Park, where the biological diversity is internationally recognized. In Canada, the government gagged federal scientists to prevent them talking to journalists about the drawbacks of extracting oil from tar sands.

Some environmental journalists report receiving friendly approaches from companies that are involved in projects likely to endanger the environment and resort to anything to help improve their image. Reporters in Democratic Republic of Congo said they were bribed by a British company with a concession to explore for oil in Virunga National Park that wanted to buy their silence. Canadian reporter Stephen Leahy was offered money by a Canadian mining company to stop investigating its activities.

In response to all these obstacles, more and more environmental journalists are banding together in associations that aim above all to improve the quality of their reporting but also give them the opportunity to collaborate and to be better equipped and protected when they venture into the field.



Rate this content
 
 
 
Average of 5 ratings 
Rating 2.60 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheUnpunished murder encourages more violence against woman journalists
 flecheRSF Index 2018: Hatred of journalism threatens democracies
 fleche2017 World Press Freedom Index
 flecheRSF publishes report on media and journalism in Algeria
 fleche2016 Round-Up: 74 journalists killed worldwide
 fleche2016 Round-Up : Number of journalists detained worldwide continues to rise
 flecheFidel Castro’s heritage:
flagrant media freedom violations

 fleche2016 World Press Freedom Index
 flecheOne year on from Charlie, RSF publishes "Jihad against journalists"
 flecheRSF annual round-up: 110 journalists killed in 2015
 flecheRSF’s 2015 Round-up: 54 journalists held hostage worldwide
 flecheWorld Press Freedom Index 2015: decline on all fronts
 flecheNew wave of arrests of journalists amid "Enemy infiltration" claims
 flecheBeijing imposes its propaganda beyond its borders
 flecheEncryption and anonymity are essential for freedom of information
 flecheWorld Press Freedom Index 2015: decline on all fronts
 flecheRound-up of abuses against journalists 2014
 flecheRWB publishes 2014 round-up of violence against journalists
 flechePolice Investigations and Prosecutions Used to Harras News Media
 flecheWorld press freedom index 2014
 flecheJournée mondiale contre la cyber-censure : nouvelle liste des "Ennemis d’Internet"
 flecheWikileaks hounded?

 flechePress Freedom Index 2010
 flecheInternet freedom - Hillary Clinton’s historic speech
 flechePress Freedom Index 2009 - Obama effect in US, while Europe continues to recede
 flecheReport “The dangers for journalists who expose environmental issues”
 fleche“Internet monitored and controlled, even in democracies”
 flechePress Freedom round-up 2008
 flecheOnly peace protects freedoms in post-9/11 world
 flecheRisks faced by journalists in Europe
 flecheThe new predators of press freedom
 fleche2008 annual press freedom report
 flecheThe plight of journalists in 98 countries reviewed
 flechePress freedom round-up 2007
 flecheReporters Without Borders issues its 2007 annual press freedom survey
 flecheWorldwide Press Freedom Index 2006

 flecheWorld Press Freedom Day: Our annual survey and new list of predators
 flecheThe 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch

 flecheReporters Without Borders and the OSCE make six recommendations to ensure freedom of expression on the Internet.
 flecheL'année la plus meurtrière depuis dix ans : 53 journalistes tués
 flecheInternational jailed journalists support day
 flecheWorldwide press freedom index
 flecheAlgérie : Trois quotidiens absents des kiosques
 fleche14th World Press Freedom Day
Other items
where is published this article:
13
SEARCH
Keywords   go
in