chapter  16
15 Pages

The environmental beat

Public confusion, digital media, social media, and fake news in the United Kingdom and Ireland
WithJohn Gibbons

The author, a Dublin-based environmental journalist and commentator, bases his report on the evolution of environmental reporting in the United Kingdom and Ireland on eight in-depth interviews with environmental journalists and academics. He notes that the number of mainstream UK journalism jobs has declined significantly since 2007 and quotes former Irish environmental editor Paul Melia: “As of right now, I wouldn’t recommend journalism full stop to anybody. I think it’s very hard to make a living. There’s no job security.” The financial crisis facing newspapers has had its effect on the number of environmental reporters. The chapter quotes Leo Hickman, former environmental feature writer for the Guardian and now website editor of Carbon Brief: “One of the most notable things over the last 15 years has been the slow death of the [traditional] environmental correspondent. So, if you think back to 10–15 years ago, there were people like Charles Clover, Jeff Lean, and John Vidal – many papers tended to have an environmental correspondent, even the Daily Telegraph had a correspondent.” Nevertheless, Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey reports that environmental issues “have risen up the agenda.”