ঢাকা শুক্রবার, জুন ১৪, ২০২৪
UNESCO Reports 70% of Environmental Journalists Face Attacks, Threats, or Pressure
  • Khondaker Abdul Motin, Editor
  • ২০২৪-০৫-১৫ ০৭:৪৭:০৬

Khondaker Abdul Motin, Editor, May 3, 2024 (Matrikantha/AFP) - A staggering 70% of environmental journalists from 129 countries, surveyed in March, disclosed encountering attacks, threats, or pressure linked to their work, UNESCO revealed on Thursday.

The report, unveiled on World Press Freedom Day, highlighted that two in five journalists subsequently endured physical violence among more than 900 respondents to the poll.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization raised concerns over the escalating violence and intimidation targeting journalists reporting on environmental and climate issues.

"Access to reliable scientific information is imperative in addressing the ongoing environmental crisis," remarked UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in a statement. "However, the journalists tasked with investigating this crucial subject and ensuring information dissemination face alarmingly high risks worldwide, compounded by the proliferation of climate-related disinformation on social media."

Between 2009 and 2023, UNESCO documented at least 749 instances of journalists and media outlets covering environmental issues facing threats such as murder, physical violence, detention, online harassment, or legal action.

The agency noted a disturbing surge in attacks, with over 300 incidents recorded between 2019 and 2023, marking a 42% increase compared to the preceding five-year period.

"The scourge is global, with assaults occurring in 89 countries across all regions," UNESCO emphasized.

The report underscored that over the past 15 years, 44 environmental journalists have been killed for their reporting, with only five cases resulting in convictions. Furthermore, nearly one-third of surveyed journalists disclosed instances of censorship, while almost half admitted to self-censorship due to fear of reprisals, exposure of sources, or conflicts of interest with stakeholders.

During a press freedom conference in Chile, UNESCO will unveil plans to launch a grants program aimed at offering legal and technical assistance to more than 500 environmental journalists facing persecution, according to the statement.

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UNESCO Reports 70% of Environmental Journalists Face Attacks, Threats, or Pressure