The State of Environmental Journalism in Germany and Russia
In the last few years I have been intensively reporting on all major UN Conferences on climate change/green economy/sustainable development issues both in Russian and German media. This type of reporting, which connects themes about the environment, politics and business might be rather new to a Russian readership, as environmental journalism is just beginning to take root in the Russian media landscape. The challenges I faced confirm this assumption and include the following issues: the distance and abstractness of global issues, lack of strong political decisions and commitments, problems referring to future issues which might seem less relevant at the moment, turning complex and diverse information into linear stories, contradictory scientific research data, and many others. At the same time, in many ways, environmental journalism in Germany is quite different than in Russia – not only because media landscapes and media markets differentiate (including political and economical prerequisites), but also because the theme of sustainability has a completely different meaning and importance in political, business and social contexts. In this article I will compare environmental reporting, mostly on UN-related events, in Russian and German media, in an attempt to outline both similarities and differences between the two media markets.