Now Reading
Progressive Environmental Journalism

Progressive Environmental Journalism

Have you ever heard that an aware society is the best weapon against climate change? If you just knew about this now, I’ll tell you how environmental journalism makes it achievable.

The major cause of climate change in the Philippines

The Philippines is a vulnerable country to natural disasters. One of the reasons is that it is an archipelago, which is also the common justification we use for most of our climatic experiences. However, the environmental issues in the Philippines are not solely because of geographical factors. Most of the time, human activities and influence cause major environmental degradation. 

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change indicates that climate change links to human activities by altering the composition of the global atmosphere. Human environmental actions, including deforestation, mining, pollution, etc., influence the changes in the climate systems. Now, consequences, such as flooding, typhoons, and landslides, are manifestly aggravating. 

The role of Environmental Journalism in promoting a healthier environment

To this increasing threat to climate change and humanity, the journalism industry and the media bear crucial responsibilities and initiatives of raising awareness among people, representing the environment, and mediating education about it. They should focus on essential topics, such as sustainability, biodiversity, and renewable energies. 

While they carry importance in promoting the welfare of nature and the people, the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ) observed the inadequacy of research on environmental coverage in Philippine news. Unlike common beats like crime and politics, most mainstream media give lack emphasis on environmental coverage. Also, only a few journalists specialize in it. 

Why covering environmental issues in the past hasn’t made much progress?

AYEJ executive director Val Vestil affirms that effective environmental reporting is the communication of science. By this account, human dimensions and environmental issues can be examined and discussed to the public at ease. Yet, the study of Pacoma in 2019 shows most Filipino journalists are not scientifically inclined to news reporting. There is a lack of integrating scientific concepts into the Philippine context. 

Another reality of environmental journalism in the Philippines, which Vestil discussed, is the absence of newsworthiness and credibility of environmental stories. They mostly contain victims’ sad stories and drama but rarely nature’s concerns, the cause of the crisis, solutions, and positive and action-driven stories. 

See Also

Photo | Literal

Since journalists are unlikely to report scientifically and cannot provide comprehensible data, they cannot pursue solutions-oriented stories, and their credibility reduces due to helpless and repulsed audiences. The news stories will only slide through the audiences’ hearing and are unlikely to come up with actions if this is the case.

Progressing Environmental Journalism

Environmental Journalism
Iberdrola | Environmental Journalism

After years of collaborative efforts of groups in the country, such as AYEJ, UNFCCC, and the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists (PNEJ), there have been recent developments in the industry. A few mainstream media now maintain to report on nature progressively and display hope for its future. And science reporting has been effective in emerging actions from people to be a part of the development. 

Quezon City is one of many localities in the Philippines that took inspiration from success stories of the united actions of the citizens in some areas. It started to make concrete plans of action to prevent air pollution in the city, including participation in the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration in 2019. It also reinforced the Environment Code that harmonizes its vision: “Build a Livable, Green, Sustainable and Climate-Resilient City” in 2020. However, while the neighboring local governments haven’t figured out a concrete system, they still get affected. 

For a long time, we always get drama-based articles when crises and disasters harass our country and people. We now need to level up our game through structured, scientific reporting. In this way, we might achieve the actions and solutions we’ve needed for so long.

Scroll To Top