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Promoting journalism that covers green connections


APRIL 7, 1994


Promoting journalism that covers green connections

By Ashali Varma

Why does The Earth Times cover “population” and “development” extensively? Is it merely because a large conference is taking place at the United Nations? Conferences certainly merit journalistic attention when participants from all over the world are assembled to consider critical issues. But this newspaper does not view “population” as a

subject to be dealt with in isolation. We see it as belonging to the family of critical topics shaping our common future-topics that include environment, economic development, human rights, women’s and children’s rights, and trade.

We are dismayed that the general media do not address these topics with the attention and care they warrant. We believe that these topics need to gain currency not only among those with a professional stake in their discussion–diplomats, for example-but the public at large as well. When 127 world leaders spoke in a single room in Rio de Janeiro back in 1992 on environment and development issues, many journalists dismissed the event as yet another UN gabfest. Our reporters and editors studied the Summitmore carefully-although no less critically-in the belief that Rio was merely an embarkation point on the road toward sustainable development. In the event, the follow-up by world leaders-who committed themselves to implementing Agenda 21-the centerpiece of the Earth Summit proved disappointing. But that only meant that the monitoring role of The Earth Times was enhanced.

The Earth Times is not a “green” newspaper; we do not shout, “Green is good!” We are a conventional newspaper, produced by men and women of lengthy journalistic experience whose hearts happen to be green but whose passions have no color other than that of printer’s ink. There is no ideology dominating our pages; our opinion columns offer views from the right to the left. But news is news, and our news columns always run right

down the middle.

We are, finally, a newspaper that covers connections the connections between environment and population, environment and economic development. These connections govern our daily lives, and how we collectively handle them will finally decide the fate of the fragile planet that we call home.