chapter  34
8 Pages

Journalism and environmental issues in the Middle East

WithNadia Rahman

The author of this chapter is an experienced broadcast journalist now teaching at Zayed University in Dubai. She reports that, in the Middle East, “environmental issues tend to take a back seat to ‘hard news stories.’ … Most people in the Arab world are preoccupied with earning a living, safety, education, freedom, social justice, and development. The environment is often an after-thought, a luxury topic and a low priority in media and research.” The overarching environmental issues throughout the Middle East include “water scarcity, polluted rivers, chemicals released and/or leaked, waste and sewage management, and overdevelopment.” And all these issues are in one way or another interconnected with the internal political structures of the nations in the region. The local media are sometimes constrained from free and open news coverage. However, “the local press is empowered when such stories appear on international news agencies, who often have more license to touch upon more sensitive topics.”