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What happens to environment journalists is chilling: they get killed for their work

3 29 0
18.06.2019

Many people tend to think of environmental journalism as the “soft” beat, reporting on the “natural world” of dolphins, polar bears, birds, pine cones, and news about climate breakdown.

But away from the privileged surroundings of Europe and North America, in places where the rule of law fades away and the Earth’s resources are among the few sources of wealth and power, things get a lot more raw.

Say, for instance, that you thought the US Environmental Protection Agency was closely tied to the interests of polluters and you had the evidence to back that up, revealing it would not get you killed. But similar assertions could do in an increasingly alarming number of places around the world.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that an unprecedented 13 journalists pursuing environmental stories have been killed in the process of doing their work over the past 10 years.

Getting close to unrestrained power can also get you beaten up, harassed, and threatened. That’s what journalists in Russia discovered when they described the impact of a road built through a forest connecting Moscow to St Petersburg. Journalists in Brazil working to expose the rapid expansion of soybean farms into the Amazon had a similar experience; as did journalists in Tanzania, as the Guardian’s new Green Blood series details,when they tried to expose the devastation wrought by mines.

Others engaged directly in environmental activism – often journalists’ sources – also pay a high price. Global Witness reports that 207 environmental activists were killed in 2017, most of whom were opposed to........

© The Guardian