Ahead of EJN’s 20th anniversary in 2024, we have embarked on an ambitious research project titled “Covering the Planet? Investigating the State of Climate and Environmental Journalism Globally.”
The study seeks to understand the role of journalism in highlighting and addressing the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, the effects of threats such as mis/disinformation and diminished press freedom; and the opportunities presented to improve the field with increased resources and training.
“Despite decades of research on the representation of climate change and environment in the media, the current state of climate and environmental reporting from the perspective of media practitioners themselves, has not been thoroughly investigated,” said Dr. Gabi Mocatta, who is leading the project along with a team of researchers at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.
“This project is designed to fill that gap by asking journalists in varied global contexts about how they do their work," she added.
To achieve this global snapshot, the Deakin University research team has created a multilingual online anonymous survey, translated into 11 languages. “We’re hoping to hear from journalists all over the planet about the nature of their work today,” said Mocatta. “We want to know about the obstacles to and enablers of climate and environmental journalism, and what journalists need to improve—and even amplify—their environmental reporting in the current context of cascading environmental harms.”
In addition to the survey, the researchers will interview some 70 reporters and editors in at least 25 countries. Together with an extensive review of the existing research literature, journalists’ own insights will contribute to the most extensive contemporary study of climate and environmental journalism across the world. A major report revealing the project’s findings will be published in May 2024.
The research findings will enable EJN to gain a deeper understanding of journalists’ needs and potentially refine its programming. Importantly, they will offer a much-needed holistic global perspective on the state of climate and environmental reporting, redefining the nature of support that would best ensure journalists and editors can continue their critical work.
"This may be the most important survey we've ever carried out at EJN," said EJN’s Executive Director James Fahn. "So we hope journalists will take the time to fill it out. This is our chance to tell the world about the challenges we face and the opportunities we see."
The survey is now available to journalists and editors covering environmental and climate issues globally and will close on December 8, 2023. Please access it through the link or the QR code above.
The project team would also like to hear from journalists and editors who are interested in volunteering to be interviewed. Get in touch with Deakin University’s Gabi Mocatta.
Banner image: Deforestation in Great Otway National Park in Victoria, Australia / Credit: gryffyn m via Unsplash.