chapter  30
12 Pages

Environmental journalism

A perspective from South Africa
WithTony Carnie

“The early focus on wildlife and nature conservation has shifted gradually to include a much broader range of contemporary environmental issues, including the health and social impacts of air pollution, mining, and global climate change,” says the author of this chapter, one of the most experienced environmental reporters in South Africa. “But over the last decade or so, full-time environment writers in South Africa’s print and digital newsrooms have been decimated by retrenchments, juniorization, and attrition.” From his nearly 30 years’ of writing for newspapers throughout the region, the author provides a unique perspective of environmental reporting: “Should we ‘dramatize’ or try to sex-up environmental stories? I sense a certain degree of global fatigue developing around predictions on the environmental ‘catastrophe’ awaiting humanity, so I think we should exercise caution (and retain an informed sense of optimism).”