What is the state of environmental journalism in different parts of the world?

GLF Live with journalists Sara Schonhardt, Sahana Ghosh, Fredrick Mugira and Bram Ebus

See the full GLF Live series here.

We consume news stories, but it’s not often we have the opportunity to learn how those stories were found, reported, told. The reporting of every news story is a process of discovery and decision-making. Often, it’s also about trust-building with others, while putting one’s own self aside out of obligation to objectivity and accuracy.

In this GLF Live, environmental journalists from different continents and mediums – narrative, interactive, geojournalism, audio – will pull back the curtains on how they choose their stories, produce their work, make their decisions and tell the truth. Journalists Sara Schonhardt, Sahana Ghosh, Fredrick Mugira and Bram Ebus will join in this conversation. This GLF Live formed part of the Storytelling Track of the GLF Bonn 2020 digital conference.

Illustration by Jessica Ball

News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is just advertising.

Lord Northcliff

Sara Schonhardt (moderator of this GLF Live) is the managing editor of the Earth Journalism Network, which works with more than 12,000 journalists around the world to improve and expand environmental news coverage. Prior to joining EJN, Sara was a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Indonesia, where she covered everything from rising Islamic conservatism to deforestation driven by palm oil expansion. She also worked as a freelance reporter for four years in Indonesia contributing to major news outlets such as The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and Voice of America. Sara’s reporting experience has taken her around much of Asia and American Appalachia, where she currently reports on socio-economic issues in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In 2017, Sara covered the impacts of climate change on women in Guatemala through a fellowship with the International Reporting Project. She has a degree in journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. You can see her portfolio of work here.

Sahana Ghosh is a science journalist with Mongabay India, the India bureau of the global news platform mongabay.com. She switched gears from studying microbiology to practicing journalism in 2012 and now reports on biodiversity, climate change, environmental health and gender. Sahana is an alumna of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (2019) and a former fellow of the Earth Journalism Network and Nature India Science Media. She’s currently a LEDE fellow with the Solutions Journalism Network (EJN), where’s working to produce a series of solutions-focused stories for the “Environment and Her” series she anchors for Mongabay India. In 2018, Sahana received a grant from EJN’s Bay of Bengal project to produce a three-part series on the impact climate change was having on women in the Indian Sundarbans. You can read that series here.

Bram Ebus is a freelance journalist, investigator and photographer from the Netherlands based in Bogotá, Colombia. He hold a Master’s degree in Global Criminology and has done research for think tanks and NGOs. Ebus has ample field experience in Latin America and has a strong focus on socio-environmental conflicts. As a journalist, his work has been published in English, Dutch and Spanish. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Miami Herald, Newsweek, Al Jazeera, Mongabay, Vice News and others.

Ugandan Fredrick Mugira is an award-winning water and climate change journalist, media trainer and development communication specialist with over 10 years of wide-ranging experience. He is currently the CEO for Water Journalists Africa, a non-profit media group that brings together over 700 journalists in 50 African countries to report on water-related issues. He is also co-founder of InfoNile, a GeoJournalism platform that maps data on water issues in the Nile River basin and overlays them with journalism stories to promote transboundary peace. In addition, Fredrick works as an editor with Uganda’s leading multimedia house—Vision Group. A National Geographic Storytelling explorer, and a Pulitzer Center Grantee, Fredrick has reported from various countries in Africa, Europe and Asia and the United States. Among his accolades are the prestigious CNN/Multichoice African Journalist award and the UN Development Journalism Award. He was also awarded the 2018 and 2015 Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) fellowships from EJN. Water Journalists Africa is currently working with EJN’s East Africa Wildlife and Conservation project to train journalists around the region.

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