Not only the planet, but also the press is in danger: UNESCO report is alarming

A new report published by UNESCO, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day on May 3, warns of the increase in violence and intimidation against journalists covering the environment and climate crisis

In the last 15 years, nearly 750 journalists and media outlets covering environmental issues have faced attacks, leading to a dramatic rise in online misinformation. UNESCO’s report, “Press and Planet in Danger“, reveals alarming statistics: 70% of environmental journalists have been targeted with murder, physical violence, detention and arrest, online harassment, or legal attacks. From 2019 to 2023, over 300 attacks were recorded, marking a 42% increase compared to the previous five years (2014-2018).

The problem is global, with attacks occurring in 89 countries across all regions. Notably, public authorities are responsible for at least half of these incidents. These numbers raise serious concerns about the state of press freedom worldwide.

The Report

Oceans Clouds 2

@Communications Earth & Environment

increasing threats to environmental journalists worldwide


Increase in Physical Attacks

UNESCO’s Observatory of Killed Journalists has documented the deaths of at least 44 journalists investigating environmental issues over the past 15 years. Shockingly, only 5 of these cases have resulted in convictions, reflecting a nearly 90% impunity rate. Physical attacks have also more than doubled, with incidents rising from 85 between 2014-2018 to 183 from 2019-2023.

In a March 2024 survey of over 900 environmental journalists from 129 countries conducted by UNESCO, 70% reported experiencing attacks, threats, or pressures related to their reporting. Of these, two out of five subsequently faced physical violence. Furthermore, female journalists reported higher exposure to online harassment, echoing trends identified in UNESCO’s previous report, “The Chilling: Global Trends in Online Violence Against Women Journalists.”

increasing threats to environmental journalists worldwide 2


Censorship and Self-Censorship

Beyond physical aggression, a third of the journalists surveyed stated they had been censored, and nearly half (45%) admitted to self-censoring when covering environmental topics. This self-censorship stems from fears of attacks, the exposure of sources, or awareness that their stories conflicted with the interests of powerful stakeholders.

GreenMe: Committed to Free Press

Free from corporate and fossil fuel industry funding and intimidation, GreenMe stands with Greenpeace and other media outlets in the “Free Press for Climate” coalition, promoting accurate climate reporting and fighting greenwashing without fear of retaliation. Founded 14 years ago to raise public awareness of environmental issues, GreenMe has become a trusted source for green news. And we will continue to be.

Condividi su Whatsapp Condividi su Linkedin