Environmental journalists should be delving deeper into environment and development issues to provide more balanced coverage, argues Talli Nauman in this article in The Herald Mexico.
Journalists traditionally see themselves as informers rather than educators, says Nauman — preferring to guarantee the economic survival of their organisations by avoiding discussions on the motivations and impacts of actions by government and the private sector.
Corporate advertisers rarely want their products to appear alongside critical stories, and educational material is often only published in opinion articles or special supplements for which media managers can claim they are not responsible.
But if coverage of sustainable development is to be balanced, the needs of the public should be prioritised over corporate interests, argues Nauman.
Environmental journalists in Latin America are more than simple informers, she says. And they must ask questions to reveal whether legal and logistical frameworks behind proposed projects are sufficient. Providing positive examples of sustainable development can also help consumers take action.
These reporting techniques, argues Nauman, will do the public a greater service.