The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Earth Journalism Awards: Win A Flight!

Posted by keith on June 8th, 2009

EJA Plane

Are you a budding journalist who really cares about the planet?

Do you want to make a splash, while at the same time let people know how badly we are treating the Earth?

Are you a hypocrite?

Then you need to enter the Earth Journalism Awards.

Send us your Best Climate Change Reports!

Print, radio, TV and online journalists, photojournalists, bloggers from around the world are invited to participate in the Earth Journalism Awards.

Send us your best stories on climate change before September 7 2009 (12.00 pm, Paris-time, GMT+2) and win a trip to cover the Copenhagen Climate Summit!

Internews’ Earth Journalism Awards encourage high-quality local climate change coverage leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, December 7-18 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15).

A total of 14 awards are now open for entry:

Seven Regional Awards on current affairs and news reporting on climate change: Eurasia, South Asia, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, and North America, Europe & Australia.

Six Thematic Awards: The Negotiations Award, The Human Voices Award, The Energy Award, The Forests Award, The Climate Change and Nature Award, and The Climate Change Adaptation Award.

The 14th award – the Global Public Award – will be chosen by the public, which will be invited to vote online for the best story drawn from the winning regional and thematic awards through a social networking campaign on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Look out for the 7th thematic award – The MTV Positive Change Award. It will be open for entry from June 22 2009 to creative youth between 18 and 28.

Winners will be flown to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen this December, where they will cover these pivotal negotiations and be honoured at a high-profile awards ceremony.

People who care about more than just winning a fancy, polluting prize, need not apply.

4 Responses to “Earth Journalism Awards: Win A Flight!”

  1. T B Says:

    That reminds of the Lights for Flights campaign -
    http://transitionculture.org/2009/04/23/the-beautiful-absurdity-of-flights-for-lights/
    (Regardless of whether or not you’ve come across that example, I think it’s worth comparing with the one you’ve brought up.)

    Here’s a case of contradictions that I came across just today -
    http://www.peakbusters.ca/contest.php
    Encouraging people to buy electronics devices, in particular, strikes me as a bad approach to energy & carbon issues. I mean, they’re not even claiming that the devices are ‘green,’ and they’re not applying any qualifications (e.g. by saying that people shouldn’t dispose of the devices in certain ways).

  2. T B Says:

    Regarding that “Peak” promotional campaign -

    It’s one thing to find ways to communicate with mainstream society; it’s another thing to imply that they can continue to live in basically the same way — in terms of their shopping, etc.

    Besides, if people are after the prizes, would they be as committed to the environmental causes? (in this case, at least)

  3. Annette Makino Says:

    Hi Keith,

    We appreciate your point about the carbon aspects of the Earth Journalism Awards.

    One of Internews’ main goals in sponsoring these awards is to boost coverage of climate change issues, both in the year leading up to the summit and at Copenhagen itself. By bringing award winners to Copenhagen, we will be giving these journalists the opportunity to cover critically important negotiations, and to provide their audiences back home with locally relevant information they otherwise might not have received. In particular, the regional categories we’ve established help ensure some of the winning journalists will come from developing countries, which are generally most vulnerable to climate change, but where local people often have the least information about it, and local journalist have few means to cover the summits where their environmental future is being decided.

    Regarding the issue of whether it is appropriate to fly award winners to the Copenhagen talks, rest assured that we are doing our best to pursue low-carbon options, and to offset all the greenhouse gases emitted by the awards ceremony and the attendant travel through a carbon-neutral plan that we are currently discussing with several vendors (details will be announced once the plan is finalized). We also realize that there is a lively debate about the effectiveness and ethics of carbon trading as a response to the challenge of climate change.

    But Internews believes journalists have the right – the duty, even – to attend the Copenhagen talks, and cover the issues there as best they can. Given the great distances that many of our award winners, particularly from the Global South, will have to travel, we do not believe it is practical to ask them to travel by land and sea, nor is it likely there will be time for them to do so once the winners have been decided. (Actually, there is an interesting debate as to the greenest transport options; life cycle analyses show that air travel is not always the dirtiest means of travel: see http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=planes-trains-or-automobiles–air-t-2009-06-08).

    Is it hypocritical for so many negotiators, inter-governmental officials, NGOs, journalists and other experts to “spend” so much carbon traveling to these mammoth climate change conferences? It’s an issue that often gets raised around the time of the UNFCCC summits, and the general response has been that this “carbon investment” is necessary to bring about an international agreement to protect our planet’s climate. We would add that, if we can also use this opportunity to raise public awareness about the challenge of climate change and ways to solve it, then it is a price worth paying.

    Internews is heartened by the response we have received to the Earth Journalism Awards, with nearly 500 journalists from around the world having registered their intention to submit stories for the awards. Thanks for your engagement on this important issue.

  4. keith Says:

    A fair response, although it is worth bearing in mind that there are 14 winners’ prizes being offered (14 flights, many of them likely to be from the USA) and I am sure Internews are not the only organisation doing this kind of thing. Offsetting is all very well (actually it isn’t, but that’s another story) but the fact that there are so many flights being offered rather than just one makes this rather less green than the organisers might have wished.

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