In the crosshairs

The perils of environmental journalism

Authored by: Eric Freedman

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Journalism

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138478503
eBook ISBN: 9781351068406
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter documents the attacks, arrests, and harassment of environmental reporters around the world. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author notes that while most such attacks “occur in lesser-developed countries like Liberia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Cambodia,” the safety of environmental journalists has been threatened in many other countries as well, including the United States, Canada, and Finland. What Reporters Without Borders calls the “hostile climate for environmental journalists” may be even more serious than the risks faced by other journalists around the world “because environmental controversies often involve influential business and economic interests, political power battles, criminal activities, anti-government insurgents, and corruption.” Environmental journalists are also in danger because many people see them as environmental activists and because some environmental controversies include “sensitive issues concerning Indigenous rights to land and natural resources.”

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