A woman walks along a dirt path on a mountain

EJN Update: New Air Pollution Project Extends Focus on Solutions

November 10, 2020

“From this workshop, I’m now inspired to start a group that would bring some of these issues to light such as the harmful effects of microplastics in the environment, and work with experts from the workshop to deliver the message to the public.” —Sera Tikoitikoivaru-Sefeti, first-year journalism student at the University of the South Pacific

This month we’re taking a look at some of the exciting impacts of our reporting and highlighting the power of resilience coverage. Our impact story looks at how a series of environmental journalism trainings in Thailand led one reporter to investigate wastewater pollution, eventually drawing a reaction from the regional authorities. We also showcase around a dozen stories produced through our Bay of Bengal project that explore how communities and individuals are taking action to address the challenges facing their environments. And our latest project seeks to increase awareness and information about the dangers of air pollution. Beyond that, you’ll find a new opportunity for reporters in Bangladesh and India, a resource on data journalism and a series of upcoming webinars you won’t want to miss!

New Air Pollution Project Extends Focus on Solutions

Air pollution is responsible for more than 6 million deaths each year, according to a 2017 study in the Lancet, making it the single largest environmental health risk globally. To accelerate clean air solutions in low- and middle-income countries, EJN is embarking on a new flagship program, Clean Air Catalyst, led by the World Resources Institute and Environmental Defense Fund. Using several new and innovative features, the project will enhance collaboration between the media, scientists and health experts so they may delve into the root causes of air pollution and develop sustained reporting that will build a shared understanding of where the pollution that affects each city comes from. Read more

Tweet from EJN: Indonesia's fourth largest city, Bandung, is know for its nickname: Dollar City. It comes from a textile boom in the 1960s, which brought prosperity to the region. Today, pollution and the health problems it causes has been unbearable for the locals.

Impact: Training Sparks Pollution Probe that Ends in Positive Change

Following an EJN workshop for Thai journalists in 2018, a reporter from The Isaan Record began investigating reports that wastewater discharge from a Thai landfill in the country's northeast was polluting surrounding farmland. After the story was published, the regional environmental authority ordered the district government to stop discharging wastewater from the landfill into public areas, since it contravened local regulations. The authority confirmed to EJN that the issue is now resolved. Read more

Stories of Resilience Revealed by Bay of Bengal Reporting Project

EJN recently evaluated more than 200 stories on resilience that reporters from our Bay of Bengal project have produced to find some of the best examples of solutions journalism from the region. Some stories have revealed how communities and individuals are taking action and – amid the challenges facing their environments – becoming beacons of hope. And some have led to changes of various degrees, illustrating how the media can help improve resilience by raising awareness of environmental issues. Read more

Inaugural Environment Workshop for Pacific Journalism Students Ends on a High Note

The University of the South Pacific’s Journalism Programme, with support from EJN, brought together close to 25 journalism students and members of the mainstream media to learn more about environmental issues and how to report on them. With presentations by environmental advocates, academics and researchers from around the Pacific, the workshop focused on the causes and effects of pollution in the Suva Bay and discussed possible solutions. Read more

OPPORTUNITY

Reporting grants for journalists in the Bay of Bengal region – EJN is offering small grants to journalists based in eastern India and coastal Bangladesh to report on how the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are impacting efforts to address climate change and build resilience. Deadline: November 30. Apply for a grant.

RESOURCE

Data journalism in the spotlight – EJN’s data journalism work was recently featured during an online workshop at the United Nations World Data Forum. During the session, EJN’s Managing Editor Sara Schonhardt discussed the importance of using data in reporting, addressed some of the challenges to doing so, and showed examples of how we’re working to increase data literacy among journalists in our network. Watch a recording.

Upcoming webinars:

Check our website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for registration updates. 

  • Conservation in the Age of Covid: Adapting to the loss of tourism: Conservation areas and the communities living in them are having to adjust to a dramatic decline in tourism during the pandemic. It has put many people out of work, reduced incomes and sparked a return to damaging activities, such as poaching. How are these communities responding? Join EJN for our next biodiversity webinar and hear from practitioners in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as the director of Flora and Fauna International, as they discuss solutions to address the crisis facing conservation. 
    Date: Thursday, November 19 | Time: 2:00pm in London 
     
  • The Health Effects of Using Saline Water: The view from the Bay of Bengal: Water used for drinking, cooking, washing and irrigation along the Bay of Bengal coast is becoming increasingly salty due to rising sea levels. Experts will discuss what impact saline water has on people’s health, answer questions and discuss story ideas with participants.
    Date: Friday, November 20 | Time: 11:30am in Bangladesh, 11:00am in India 
     
  • Renewable Energy in Maharashtra: The prospects, the problems and some ways to overcome them
    Date: Friday, November 27 | Time: 11:00am in India 
     
  • Renewable Energy in Tamil Nadu: The prospects, the problems and some ways to overcome them
    Date: Friday, December 4 | Time: 11:00am in India 

What we're reading, watching, listening to...

Reading: EJN-supported stories! 

  • This piece from Pacific grantee Stanley Simpson looks at how relocation in the face of rising seas has not played out as promised in the village of Narikoso, Fiji. 
  • While this two-part investigation out of Indonesia examines pollution on the Citarum River, one of the world’s dirtiest, and current efforts to clean it up. 

Listening to (& watching)

  • Threshold's latest podcast, a conversation taped live over Zoom with award-winning wildlife photographer Ami Vitale, who talks about the importance of environmental storytelling and why she's hopeful for the future. 

Referencing

  • Journalism and the Pandemic: A global snapshot of impacts. This large-scale global survey looks at how journalists have been coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. It finds that the majority of respondents (70%) rated the psychological and emotional impacts of dealing with the Covid-19 crisis as the most difficult aspect of their work, followed by financial hardship, and the intense workload.