Journalists who cover environmental issues live in a dangerous climate and are exposed to potentially devastating forces. We are not talking about nature’s hurricanes, squalls, downpours or lightning. Overly inquisitive journalists face harassment, threats, physical violence and sometimes even murder.
As representatives from throughout the world prepare to attend the Paris climate talks (COP21), which will be covered by more than 3,000 journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has investigated threats to freedom of information about the environment rather than threats to the environment itself. The journalists accredited to COP21 will in no danger (except the danger of pressure from lobbyists) but the same cannot be said of many of their colleagues, who are often exposed to terrible dangers.
In Hostile Climate for Environmental Journalists, RSF highlights the need for much more attention to the plight of these men and women, who take great risks to challenge powerful interests. Their meticulous work of gathering and disseminating information is essential to achieving the badly needed increase in awareness of the dangers threatening our planet.
James Fahn, Global Director of Internews’ Environmental Programs, is interviewed in the report.