UN chief on World Press Freedom Day: environmental journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession

Глава ООН во Всемирный день свободы печати: экологическая журналистика становится все более опасной профессией

The UN calls for the protection of journalists and press freedom around the world. UN chief on World Press Freedom Day: environmental journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession Human rights

The world is experiencing an unprecedented environmental crisis that poses a real threat to current and future generations, and journalists play a critical role in educating the public on climate change and pollution. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced this on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. This year it focuses on the role of journalism and free expression in the context of the current global environmental crisis.

Journalists report on pressing issues such as supply chain disruptions, climate migration, illegal mining, poaching, animal trafficking and deforestation, but face many obstacles in reporting them and difficulties.

“Thanks to their work, people are coming to understand the plight of our planet, becoming mobilized and empowered to take action to create change. Media workers also document environmental degradation. They provide evidence of environmental vandalism that helps bring those responsible to justice,” the UN chief said.

He stressed that some powerful people, companies and institutions will stop at nothing , to stop environmental journalists from doing their jobs.

“Media freedom is under threat. Environmental journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession,” said Guterres. 

“Dozens of journalists covering illegal mining, logging, poaching and other environmental issues have been killed in recent decades,” he added. At the same time, Guterres noted that in the vast majority of cases no one was brought to justice.

According to UNESCO, in the last 15 years there have been about 750 attacks on journalists and news outlets covering environmental issues. The frequency of such attacks continues to grow.

Legal processes are being misused to increase censorship, suppress issues, and detain and harass media workers.

The UN also reminds us of climate disinformation campaigns aimed at undermining proven solutions, including the transition to renewable energy sources.

“But environmental journalists are not the only ones at risk. Media workers around the world risk their lives trying to bring us news on everything from war to democracy. “I am shocked and appalled by the death of a large number of journalists during Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip,” the UN chief said. 

Guterres called on governments, the private sector and civilian society to join the UN and defend journalists and press freedom around the world.

“Without press freedom, we will have no freedom. A free press is not a choice, but a necessity,” he concluded. 

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