Environmental Journalism: Absent Although of All Disasters

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Environmental Journalism: Absent Although of All Disasters

 

Iraqi Media House

Environmental Journalism: Absent Although of All Disasters

 Iraqi Media House

In its 28th report, “Iraqi Media House” monitors environmental issues in Iraqi media, monitoring the content of news and visual and printed reports regarding local environment in the country, in addition to analyzing it and the reasons why they are rare although of all major environmental problems in the country.

The report monitors a sample of 14 media outlets; including 5 TV channels, 5 news agencies, and 3 newspapers during the last three months, starting from January 1st 2017 until March 31st 2017. The report includes a statistic about published reports and its documentation.

 

The report deals with issues and problems that were discussed in media and the level of paying attention and putting it as a priority in addition to the range of covering it. The report discusses also the range of media success in covering environmental issues and delivering it to audience on both official and popular levels.

“Iraqi Media House” knows that the scarce of specializing in environmental journalism is a problem that international media outlets face, however this problem seems to be more serious in Iraq and Arab countries because of the absence of specialization and shortage of capital and at the same time focusing on political, security, and social issues, although environmental issues are not less important than other specializations.

The interest in environmental issues, which became internationally topical, on both official and popular levels seems to be limited. Issues like waste, remnants of wars, water pollution, chemical radiations, ozone layer issue, rivers pollution, and noise seem to be totally absent in the list of the government’s interests, while local media don’t provide a suitable space for such issues although Iraq is one of the countries that face major environmental problems.

 

The report of “Iraqi Media House” comes as an effort to shed light on those problems and on the way how they should be covered by media. The monitoring report found out the following:

 

  1. News and reports related to environment and its problems are forming 1% of the content of published news and reports in local media outlets; which indicates the lack of interest in this field comparing it to other fields. This problem is resulted from the absence of specialization in Iraqi media.

 

  1. Most news and reports, which are related to environment, in local media depend on official statements issued by the ministry of environment, other governmental committees, or statements of officials about dangers and problems in some regions. Media outlets neither follow such news to have more details by communicating with persons specialized in environment and health nor they provide explanations for international environmental concepts; such like climate change, ozone layer depletion, and change in natural cycle.

 

  1. Most news and reports on environment deal with issues from a political perspective regardless of its environmental effects. Statements of officials on environmental dangers are being discussed aiming to find out the party that should be blamed without focusing on its direct effects on natural and human resources in long term.

 

  1. The shortage of investigations and exclusive reports on environmental problems and issues in the country. Most reports are based on other media outlets and international organizations, and they are mostly wrote by unspecialized journalists, which is basically resulted from the lack of interest in environmental issues by media institutions.

 

Recommendations:

 

  1. Paying more attention by local media for environmental issues; by rehabilitating a part of its employees and communicating with persons specialized in environmental issues from governmental institutions; like the ministries of environment, health, and water resources, and with university professors in this field.

 

  1. Local and international organizations that are interested in supporting Iraqi media should make specialized workshops on environmental journalism to introduce journalists to the basics of writing and media coverage in environment field internationally, then communicate with governmental and academic organizations to shed light on the major environmental problems and obstacles in the country.

 

 

  1. The interest of media outlets and specialization of most journalists in political and security coverage don’t preclude covering environmental issues. Many environmental issues are resulted from political and military problems; remnants of wars, fires in oil fields, Dijla and Furat river pollution,in addition todesertification and shortage of green boxes are all main problems in the country.

 

 

 

 

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