Knight Center director Eric Freedman’s study of dangers facing environmental journalists was recognized as a Top Faculty Paper at the 2018 Association for Journalism & Mass Communications annual conference.
The award came from the organization’s Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk Division.
For the study, “In the Crosshairs: The Perils of Environmental Journalism,” Freedman interviewed journalists from five continents who had been arrested, interrogated, sued, harassed, physically assaulted or threatened for their coverage. It explored the impact of such situations, including the psychological effects on these journalists’ sense of mission and professional practices.
Freedman said environmental journalists around the globe are at heightened risk because environmental controversies often involve influential business and economic interests, political power battles, criminal activities, and corruption, as well as politically, culturally, and economically sensitive issues concerning indigenous rights to land and natural resources.