chapter  20
12 Pages

Environmental journalism in Spain

WithMaría-Teresa Mercado-Sáez, Manuel Chavez

One person can make a difference. For much of the world, that person was Rachel Carson and her 1962 book Silent Spring, which not only changed the paradigm of environmentalism (from conservation to pollution), but also has been credited with beginning modern environmental journalism. For Spain, that person was Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente and his 1974–1981 television program “El Hombre y la Tierra” (“The Man and the Earth”), which awakened the interest of the Spanish people in wildlife and nature. The 1980s and 1990s were the growing years for environmental journalism in Spain. However, “The global economic crisis of 2008 sharpened the internal crisis of the media in digital convergence and led to the closing of paper sections, newsroom readjustments, and dismissals of numerous specialized journalists,” report the authors of this chapter. “None of the ten newspapers with the highest digital audience … has an environment section.” This leaves some environmental journalists on the outside, serving as “freelance collaborators, a professional situation increasingly common in the area of environmental journalism.”