EJN Launches New Collaborative Journalism Project on Meat and One Health in the Asia Pacific

a man feeding caged pigs

EJN Launches New Collaborative Journalism Project on Meat and One Health in the Asia Pacific

August marks the launch of EJN’s newest collaborative special project in the Asia Pacific: “More Than Meats the Eye” (MTM), a months-long collaborative journalism project involving eight media outlets and more than a dozen journalists. 

Meat production and consumption has a hefty impact on human and environmental health. But even as the climate crisis deepens, and pressures on natural resources intensify, the demand for meat continues to grow. And nowhere is it growing faster than in developing nations, which will account for 84% of global meat production growth in this coming decade.    

The emphasis of this project is on the intersection of meat consumption and production in the Asia Pacific with the concept of One Health, a framework for understanding the relationship between human, animal and environmental health. 

Many of the partners have shared sources, data, peer-reviewed drafts, and co-produced content. Many are working across borders and vastly different media cultures too—our partners range from a science news outlet in India (The Wire Science) to a daily newspaper in Fiji (Fiji Sun). The journalists in the project are covering a highly charged topic (meat, especially meat consumption) — with all its cultural, political and economic implications—in a careful and engaging way. 

alt meat samples
The market for alt-meat products is growing / Credit: Meat Zero. 

The first stories will explore the growth of alternative meat products in Thailand (Bangkok Post and Mekong Eye) and the Philippines (Philstar), including their repercussions for human and environmental health, not the least of which being the climate. Subsequent stories will include longform pieces on China’s (Initium Media) relationship to animal protein and the future of its consumption, as well as a Fijian (Fiji Sun) primer on One Health and its relationship to the outbreak of a zoonotic disease amongst farming communities in a remote part of the country. 

EJN project staff have been fortunate to work with a talented crop of early-career and senior journalists, outlets with an international audience and those tailored to a domestic readership, and a wide stable of writers, photographers, and data wranglers. 

“The fact that the partnering outlets are familiar with One Health and how to cover the different aspects of the consumption and production of meat with this framework in mind is both a product of the collaboration and what makes the collaboration stick together,” said Sam Schramski, EJN’s special projects editor. 

Look out for stories from “More Than Meats the Eye” weekly through early October 2022. Join us on Twitter Spaces in October to learn more about the project. Date and time TBC.

three people point at a water body
Intensively industrialized breeding of cows, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry typically pollutes waterways / Credit: Vo Kieu Bao Uyen. 

Banner image: A pig farm in northern Vietnam / Credit: Georgina Smith for CIAT via Flickr.

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