“…misinformation and ignorance have been so harmful to containing the spread of the virus. If that is the case with something so obviously harmful as a pandemic, how much more challenging will it be to convince the public and policy-makers to take action to address climate change?” —James Fahn, EJN’s Executive Director
As we wind down 2020 and look forward to a brighter new year, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve lost. Among the many challenges, the pandemic has made it more difficult for reporters and newsrooms to cover important stories about climate change and environmental crime. But there is a silver lining. At Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, we’ve given out dozens of grants just in recent months to media outlets and individual reporters across the globe. And we’ve increased our virtual workshops and trainings, finding new ways to innovate and extend our support to journalists amid an ongoing pandemic. You can read more about those activities below and learn where we’re headed in 2021. A hint: you’ll see a lot more about the ways health and the environment collide. See you next year.
2020 Was a Year Like No Other
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives – and many of our work plans. In assessing the past year, we see a few noteworthy trends in our program: Fewer environmental stories produced with EJN support, but a greater number of journalists trained as capacity-building efforts have gone virtual, and more stories connecting environment and health issues. Read more
As Newsrooms Suffer, EJN Awards Grants to Support Continued Environmental Reporting
Following its latest calls for story proposals, EJN has issued more than two dozen small grants to reporters in the Asia-Pacific and East Africa regions for critical reporting on environmental crime, wildlife issues, climate change and its intersections with current social, economic and health-related problems. Read more
New EJN Project to Explore the Problems and Prospects Facing Renewable Energy in India
India is the fourth-most attractive renewable energy (RE) market in the world, and it has the world’s most ambitious RE development program. But there are obstacles to increasing the use of renewable energy, such as wind and solar. EJN’s latest project will work to improve media cover of these issues in an effort to enhance public debate and attention from lawmakers. Read more
Six Asia-Pacific Media Outlets Receive EJN Funding to Enhance Environmental Reporting
EJN has selected six organizations across the Asia-Pacific region to advance reporting on critical environmental issues in 2021. The selection followed the most competitive year for EJN’s Asia-Pacific Media Grants to date, with more than 105 applications received from 21 different countries. Read more
EJN Awards Five Media Grants to Expand Coverage of Biodiversity Issues
In September, EJN announced the re-launch of its Biodiversity Media Initiative (BMI) project with a call for media grant applications. Now, following a rigorous review of the dozens of proposals received, five organizations were awarded support totalling more than $60,000. Read more
What we’re Re/Tweeting
We’ve revamped our geosite @MekongEye! Visit us at mekongeye.com to read original reporting on the costs of large-scale regional infrastructure projects, personal narratives and analyses focused on the social and environmental impacts of development in the Mekong.
And, while you’re at it, check out the newly launched pasifika.news, a website from PINA that showcases environmental stories told by Pacific Islanders. Learn about how coastal and marine ecosystems will be impacted by climate and environmental changes & hear from the people directly affected.
Bay of Bengal grantee Nidhi Jamwal was awarded the Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity 2020 for her story “Who moved my village?” published on gaonconnection.com. The award is one of the top prizes in India for journalism that highlights gender issues.
What we’re reading, watching, listening to:
For our final newsletter of the year, we asked our network to share their best stories of 2020. Here’s just a sampling:
- Lax laws make Nepal a haven for tiger poachers (Tufan Neupane)
- COVID-19 hits Bhutan-India water cooperation (Shailendra Yashwant)
- Environment Undone: A series that uses data, ground reporting and human stories to demonstrate how India is opening up its protected areas to infrastructure projects (Disha Shetty)
- The legal battles of the indigenous Bagyeli in Cameroon (Madeleine Ngeunga)
- The Baghjan fire is out. What’s happened to the Assam villagers ruined by it? (Supriti David)
- The story of a young man who built a private weather station in Karachi – in Urdu (Amar Guriro)
- Sea threatens to devour Chattogram (Shamsuddin Illius)
- How a high dependency on mangroves is threatening the coast’s forests (Jimmy Makhulo)
And a few favorites from those of us at EJN who bring you this newsletter:
- The social life of forests – This is a podcast about one of my favorite scientists, Suzanne Simard, an ecologist who discovered that trees communicate and cooperate with one another in a way that makes them far from solitary. – Sara
Facebook creates fact-checking exemption for climate deniers – This is one installment of a newsletter by U.S. climate journalist Emily Atkin called “Heated.” In June, Atkin exposed a fact-checking loophole Facebook created, at the request of climate deniers, that allows them to spread climate misinformation by labeling it as “opinion.” – Hannah