Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The climate's unhealthy, the flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later, the end will arrive.

But Reuters has other priorities.

From very early in 2012, I was repeatedly told that climate and environment stories were no longer a top priority for Reuters and I was asked to look at other areas. Being stubborn, and passionate about my climate change beat, I largely ignored the directive.

It was a strange repositioning of editorial focus for Asia, which has some of the world’s top polluters and some of the greatest environmental challenges taxing economies and governments.

In April last year,
Paul Ingrassia (then deputy editor-in-chief) and I met and had a chat at a company function. He told me he was a climate change sceptic. Not a rabid sceptic, just someone who wanted to see more evidence mankind was changing the global climate.

Progressively, getting any climate change-themed story published got harder. It was a lottery. Some desk editors happily subbed and pushed the button. Others agonised and asked a million questions. Debate on some story ideas generated endless bureaucracy by editors frightened to take a decision, reflecting a different type of climate within Reuters – the climate of fear.

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