Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Almost 40 Percent of Russia’s Journalists Covering Environmental Issues have Been Threatened, Many Physically, EJN Reports

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 6 – There is an old joke that if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it really fall? Perhaps inspired by that idea, the Putin regime is seeking to repress the coverage of journalists about the wholesale destruction of the environment in the Russian Federation.

            According to the Earth Journalism Network (EJN), 39 percent of journalists in Russia have been threatened because of their work, with slightly more than a quarter of these cases involving a threat of physical violence against the writers and broadcasters ( and

            The journalists say that most of those who threaten them are directly connected with enterprises doing damage to the environment, but in the Russian case, these threats emanate slightly more often than from businesses, “on the order of 30 percent,” than from private businesses, 25 percent.

            These threats undoubtedly have prompted some journalists not to cover environmental issues; and 39 percent of those EJN surveyed said that they regularly engaged in self-censorship  or included information on climate change, for example, that they knew to be false but that the powers that be are committed to.

            Unfortunately, the Russian journalists working in this area said that the number of fake news stories on the environment has risen over the last decade and continues to go up.

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