Writing Green: A Guide to Handhold You


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Reviewed by Frederick Noronha

cover-eerJournalism is obviously an imprecise science. As has been pointed out: while science tries to be deliberate, precise and reflective, journalism is fast, imprecise and keen on drama. Yet, what would science be without the public outreach that the media offers? You could say the same for environmentalism, even if the latter is more of a social movement trying to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education so as to protect natural resources and ecosystems.

Many younger journalists (and a few not-so-young ones too), including media students, have their heart in the right place. They have a natural inclination towards the environment. But here is the dilemma: how or where do they get started?

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to see two copies of Santosh Shintre’s handbook — published both in English and Marathi — reach by the post. Santosh had been in touch with me via email earlier, though one had all but forgotten our conversations.

Environmental journalism was one of the themes I too have had a soft-corner for during part of my journalistic career, in particular in the 1990s. Some of my employers encouraged my interest in this. But then, in post-Liberalisation India, the space for writing green simply dried up, thus putting subtle and not-so-subtle pressures on freelancing choices.

With Keya Acharya of Bangalore, nonetheless, more recently I co-edited a book called The Green Pen, where senior environmental journalists across India shared their experiences. Because of another of my interests, in cyberspace, I founded by happenstance the India-EJ mailing list for environmental journalists in India. Today it is run on Googlegroups by those still active in the field.

But contrary to the impression this all might create, I too would often be struggling to understand this vast field. More so, given that my background is not in the Sciences and my Green commitment stems from my heart and feelings about the need to go in for sustainable growth, whatever that might mean. Continue reading “Writing Green: A Guide to Handhold You”