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tv   The Listening Post 2017 Ep 41  Al Jazeera  December 30, 2017 10:32pm-11:01pm +03

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the syrian government and its allies after heavy fighting earlier this month. the greek government has moved to block asylum being granted to one of eight turkish soldiers who fled their country during last year's failed coup an asylum tribunal ruled in favor of the man's appeal and is still considering the cases of the other seven but the government has filed a request to cancel the ruling earlier turkey's foreign ministry said the decision would harm bilateral ties and regional cooperation. russia's supreme court has upheld the ban on opposition leader likes in the valley running for president next year the valley has been barred because of fraud over fraud conviction which he says is politically motivated he's calling for his supporters to boycott the vote president putin is widely expected to win a forced term and egypt's former president mohamed morsi has been sentenced to three years in prison on charges of insulting the judiciary morsi has been tried in
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several cases since he was the pows following mass protests and a military coup four news and half an hour listening post this next. i took a hard look at that that could happen. i now feel. like . i think that hot air like oil. alarm richard gives birth in europe the listening post this week we're breaking format to talk about a gaping hole in news coverage on a story that matters according to a global survey taken earlier this year the number one threat in people's minds was
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the islamic state number two was climate change but when climate change makes it onto the news agenda as it has this week with the cop twenty three conference in germany or alongside coverage of extreme weather events it seldom stays there once the storms or the conferences pass the media move on we're focusing on the climate change story this week and the coverage it does not get in part two of our program we travel to indonesia where reporting on environmental stories is often stymied by corporate forces with an eye on the bottom line but first the listening posts will yawn on how journalists and the news outlets they work for consistently fall short on what may be the biggest story of them all the future viability of the planet. november two thousand and fifteen the twenty first united nations climate change
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conference will call to twenty one in paris will be to this gathering to address the global exist in children to the human climate. even so coverage was initially overshadowed by security terror multiple shooting and bomb attacks in the same city just days before. the agreement though. did at least win back the headlines. about. those promise to reduce their carbon output as soon as possible and to do their best to keep going to warming below two degrees celsius. this is a burst of news coming out from paris the world come together and there was agreement on tackling climate change there was this narrative that paris was the last best chance to save the planet so there was this incredible pressure to sell the result as a victory and then the media followed suit and engaged in
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a lot of depictions of kind of corporate and government back slapping. the international collective on environment culture politics trucks climate change coverage in media around the globe media interest spiked when barack obama attended the copenhagen climate talks in two thousand but then the climate change all but disappeared from view until parents the united states will withdraw. from the paris . climate accord. earlier this year headline grabber in chief donald trump put climate change back in the news when he decided to pull the us out of the paris agreement. media matters for america watches us mainstream media for their climate coverage the most telling finding is that aside from when world leaders are raising or dashing hopes most of the time this simply nothing to see.
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in june of this year there was a big burst of coverage when trump announced he was going to pull the us out of the paris climate agreement and in the year and a half in between there was almost no coverage whatsoever in the us media. during the presidential election campaign there was not a single segment about how the election would affect climate change that was a huge missed by the media donald trump said more than once that he intended to pull the us out of the paris agreement but the media did not cover that the story of the wall from cork twenty one the hope and then there was this sudden evaporation of that whole first of all it's a tragedy because climate change is a real problem and it is causing enormous uncertainty and instability around the world in a fit. it created this bus suddenly everyone was talking we want these climate change what is happening why is it important that the u.s. stays in this agreement or why is it so bad that the u.s.
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is pulling out. about the trump effect only underlines the media's tendency to seek villains and heroes to focus our attention to look for someone or some country to blame for a while that was china because china signed on for paris accords and also has made a massive investment in renewable energy that no longer washes in contrast to trump the media at present justin trudeau the prime minister of canada as a kind of environmental adonis. but in fact trudeau has approved a whole suite of fossil fuel projects tar sands pipelines arctic fracking liquefied natural gas plants all of which absolutely obliterate canada's paris targets environmental journalism was more about the drama of the players involved and less about the actual discussion of the planet and with donald trump withdrawing the united states' support i think there's more and more opportunity to start raising
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questions about who are the human lives on the ground who are the people that are being affected. climate change impacts are all around us once in a century weather events are happening every year and scientists agree that if much more is not done soon the worst by far is yet to come. journalists the question of how bleak to paint the future and how audiences might respond. if you look at stories that come out about climate change it's all about doom and gloom sea level rise won't stop at six feet they're likely to rise at an even faster rate it's all about discuss just how claims of changing and people's names and changing for the worse so there is fear and even i really don't know what they can do when you talk to environmental journalists there's that conversation that's happening in
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terms of. striking a balance between being overdramatic or is that drama necessary today there was. a recent cover story in new york magazine about the worst case outcomes of climate change a lot of climate activists and advocates were unhappy because they felt like he was presenting such a grim scenario but the fact is that the story did really well it attracted a lot of attention a lot more than most climate coverage does on the one hand there's a real need to. real desire among journalists in the press in general to tell the story in all of its seriousness on the other hand there's a real desire not to make people too scared when we know rate future is a gap in the reporting between what the future looks like and what we can do in the present so the tricky part about climate journalism is that often the climate change impact happens in a slow motion we will be under water if nothing is done on the other hand sometimes climate change plays out right and shocks that monster hurricane the strongest ever
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on record of you so it's precisely in those moments of climate shocks that we need the media to be honest and clear about how climate change is a factor but it's often at those moments that they motion away from talking about it. for some while the media politicize it is yet another tragedy but don't politicize a tragedy a cool often heard in the wake of destructive weather events the inherently unjust way in which climate impacts felt and caused. over the past thirty years more than seventy percent of greenhouse gases were produced by just one hundred major companies and while corporate media often turn the spotlight on consumers and national governments big business and the capitalist model itself a seldom examined. if you look at the media early voting you will see emissions coming out in the form of countries this is how much india is doing it is on my
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china is doing but the amount of carbon china pumps into the atmosphere maybe over estimation is the natural reaction is oh the governments of this one's not. and companies and industries so in an era when neo liberalism has i think shut down really effective political choices. the media often downplays the solutions that are possible like there's a real disconnect between what people know should happen and what the media tells them is possible but they rarely address solutions that are actually commensurate with the scale of the crises we face namely you know large scale economic and political changes realism is the problem here it's unrealistic to expect politicians to basically say well that's the end of capitalism we're going to do it with all the money making the profiteering the environmental destruction that it's all built upon. you know if it's unrealistic why would you report about it the
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really the only hope is just incredible explosion innovation one of the things we see in the press reports on climate change is the idea that there's some sort of magical technology that can fix things for us maybe the market or it's kind of a faith in something beyond she manatee to solve the problem that we've created the barriers to combat in climate change are not technological they are political and sometimes this fixation that scientists are going to come up with some new technology that's going to be a magic bullet distracts us from the action that we need to be taking right now. for some action is not an option it's a clear and present necessity indigenous and tribal peoples all over the world have long resisted the extractive industries that the wrote the book their lands and rights. environmentalist's recognize indigenous struggle as a crucial form line in the fight against climate change but the media seldom see them as more than a side note that. late last year the mainstream media did finally descend almost to
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come to report on the standing rock sioux tribes resistance to the dakota access point line to. journalists only showed up in big numbers when the law to protect is subjected to violence the provided the kind of telegenic flashpoint that most climate change stories. it didn't become a major story for legacy media until it no longer can be ignored the night of november twentieth when police used water cannons water protectors and set freezing temperatures at that point mediate no longer had any more excuses for why they couldn't send crews out to them what had become a very alarming set of circumstances dave our chimbo is a tribal leader for the standing rock sioux tribe that really instigated this. resistance movement and he has spoken very eloquently about concern about climate
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change and how that intersects with the tribes concerned about their water quality and tribal sovereignty lessen our dependency on our kid industry about fossil fuels but those arguments very rarely made it into media discussions of the dakota access pipeline within our settler colonial culture that there are these deeply how racist myths about indigenous peoples as dysfunctional as obstacles to progress you know simply shoved aside by history and i think that was why in south dakota it took so long for the mainstream media to finally turn their attention to what was really a historic standoff with big oil in america standing rock is not a stand alone case this is happened over and over again in tribal community here in the united states and around the world so is it going to take bottom up voices all the time to tell these environmental justice issues or is it now the onus on
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journalists to talk about climate justice. covering climate change means communicating urgency without. looking beyond belief politics to a grassroots movement so we're ready to take no action. identifying the actors and the system but got is here in the first place but to represent climate justice requires one more crucial step to identify and give voice to the victims who are feeling climate impacts not in the future but here and now treating climate change as a question of environmental justice means starting from its impact on people rather than from abstract modeling or doomsday scenarios the best of environmental journalism takes what are often private experiences of deprivation of injustice and enable people to commit sort of connect the dots to create a shared experience around which they can organize themselves environment impacts politics the social fabric economic every. community they're finding it hard
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to feed their families people moving out of their new gauges and going into towns it's important to report on these one of these because then you see how much of an impact i mean having before the impact becomes huge so it's journalists have to bring all these facets together and report this complex story but you know be there everybody understands. one country with a huge stake in the climate change story is indonesia at the rate the temperatures and sea levels are rising two thousand of the country's island's forty two million households are at risk of being swamped by the year two thousand and fifty but when you examine mainstream media coverage of environmental issues beyond the occasional disaster story on a forest fire or a mudslide there's not much on the bigger contextual picture media groups are
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a bit too close to reliant on agribusiness and mining companies who are among the worst environmental offenders mainstream journalists also find it hard to report on these issues because of political corruption so n.g.o.s have stepped in to fill the information gap the listening posts meenakshi ravi now on how the indonesian media tend to toe the corporate and government law. in two thousand fifty five has swept through indonesia's rain forests i was like i don't like getting it back up back out on the fact that i had. my last column left two point six million hectares of funds an area roughly the size of rwanda was said to flee to clear space for palmer and plantations. the fires produced in just three weeks more greenhouse gases than germany does in an
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entire year. one of. the fires lead indonesian news bulletins as long as they were burning but the minute they died down so did the cause of the. forest fires have become an annual occurrence in indonesia and still the country's media seldom devote the column inches and any time needed to explore the causes behind. the move money put on and it is easier for journalists to cover sports or the economy because they have scores and numbers those stories are much easier to write. then environmental stories where journalists have to understand biology ecology waste and chemistry. going to miss behind. your analysis of the media's comprehension of environmental issues is not good enough so they focus on the most obvious thing as like forest fires or damage caused by mining. the media don't go near subjects like water
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poisoned due to talks like waste of air pollution because they don't know enough about the subject long on one show or. crucial to how indonesia's news outlets covered the environment and the destruction of it is the shape of the media landscape when the three decades of president mohamed so hostiles dictatorship ended in one thousand nine hundred eight the indonesian media market went through a growth spurt nearly twenty years on one thousand five hundred t.v. channels and five hundred radio stations compete for ratings and advertising revenue most of these outlets are owned by conglomerates many of which have big stakes in agribusiness and mining companies the country's first and second largest media groups m. and c. and java as well as smaller groups like the sea and citi corp all have significant interests in natural resources. media media owners are often connected to owners of extractive industry companies like mining or palm oil which are among the greatest contributors to deforestation environmental damage and pollution
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a lot of media owners the stakeholders in these industries for instance they're the bosses of t.v. stations and coal mining companies at the same time. preparing going to work environmental news doesn't sell such ernest's second guess themselves as to whether they should pursue such stories or not for example i was part of a program to help newspapers set up environmental editorial desks the tribune pac and baron newspaper agreed to set up a section called green city however it didn't bring in advertising turn a profit so they shut it down. to pay for one in them but. everyone focuses on news events because we can see that this is what the viewers want and we take that into consideration. but he's breaking news special news have higher ratings so i don't even want. any he's steady sad but i'm bad.
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so. we feel that it's difficult to report on subjects that are not visible for the picture is not clear. however even when the picture is crystal clear the journalism can still fall short case in point two thousand and six and a month volcano in sea the larger district of east java that exploded and submerged fifteen villages displacing almost forty thousand people the evidence overwhelmingly pointed a drilling taking place nearby and the mining by the oil and gas company up in the grant us as the most likely cause the company said a nearby earthquake had triggered the mud volcano and that in any case it had followed industry safety regulations added still side. the owner. was a government minister the time he also owns three media outlets the sewer by a post viva news and t.v. one. for those following the media coverage of the disaster the reporting on these
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outlets was clearly compromise. and everybody caught a bank down by a stamp on the. framing media. the way the media frames environmental issues is not neutral it depends on the political affiliations of the owners there were two different narratives on the panda news story the media owned by the bakri family and one called it the city of july float to imply that it was a natural disaster all the other media for example metro called it the lapindo mudflow using the name of the company responsible. in the remembering at the start up when you aren't allowed to go or go badly daniel embark on a number of. new i don't agree but i plan on when i lie and when there are a number of disasters abroad like sure no boat where the name of the town is used as reference and if i'm not mistaken she do our job disaster was the phrase used by
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the government and parliament to refer to the incident so it seems the most appropriate terminology to us but we do not get orders from our own are saying this news should be like this or this news should be like that right now but i've been to get a get at let me know in relation to the lapindo story t.v. one report amply on how much sleep in there is paid out in compensation and made about the demolition but get that up a little on what up likely leo your younger son lied to. me on this he deceived me but the channel won't give stories about how many dozens of houses face imminent flooding because of an overflowing that. and the image of. the complex web of corporate ownership and vested political interests in the media makes it difficult to report let alone investigate the impact poor industrial
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standards and monitoring has on the environment add to that a dearth of eliza sources minimal data and widespread corruption it's nearly impossible to trace responsibility for environmental damage n.g.o.s have stepped into the vacuum and are helping reporters connect the dots in may this year the mining advocacy network jutta teamed up with temple a weekly investigative publication to produce the killing gets a d.p. to port its story of corporate greed and irresponsibility in the mining industry. investing. on what one of our investigation found that those pits of claimed lives that children fell into the holes they were poisonous due to chemical waste we reported this to the government the government applied sanctions to the company of a toy and so the company sent folks to attack our headquarters we face a lot of intimidation threats and violence the culture of violence has never gone away and the authorities are also compressing
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a lot of bombing doesn't it back. in september two thousand and fifteen indonesia's president. announced that the country would cut the growth of in-house gas emissions by twenty nine percent by two thousand and thirty as the announcement was covered across indonesia as news outlets but since then there's been little follow up on what progress that has been or whether there is a planetoid to achieve this target what little media debate and coverage there is of efforts to protect indonesia's rain forests are often framed in terms of a stark choice between the economy and the environment. we did it on thing but people economy are. what intercity. but i get up in the going to get a commom i get some media i'll get that in the new. it is a developing country and that it's the only it's more lands the palm oil plantation as in twenty sixteen when the president wanted to extend the moratorium on palmer plantations to protect the people and some outlets prompted the idea that business
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would grind to a halt osteen's this is about assassinating on a muni kotick i mean i have learnt that i knew in the media care and do good reporting on the environment can they be any influence on policy to protect so unless there are more journalists writing about green issues climate change will not be stopped anybody. you've been watching a special edition of our program on climate change and the global shortfall of coverage of that story we're back to our usual format next week we'll see you then here at the list.
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january on the jersey of the african heads of state and governments will gather in for the stage at the same of the african union where the goals set out say in twenty seventeen minutes rewind returns with brand new episodes updating some of the best al-jazeera documentaries from over the years the biggest names in politics in business will meet in the swiss alps for the world economic forum watch will be top of the agenda. engages in rigorous debates cutting through the headlines on all fronts and in the week our special coverage will be gauging reaction from around the world to america's most controversial president of modern times january.
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the first century. and monday put it whirled on. us and british companies have announced the biggest discovery of natural gas in west africa but what to do with these untapped natural resources is already a source of heated debate nothing much has changed they still spend most of the days looking forward to full dry river beds like this one five years on the syrians still feel battered or even those who managed to escape their countries have been truly unable to escape the war. you are making very pointed remarks where on line the main u.s. response to drug use and keep the drug trade over the last fifty years has been to
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criminalize or if you join us on sat you know you will first just wakes up over the morning and say i want to cover the world in darkness this is a dialogue and that could be what leading to some of the confusion on line about people saying they don't actually know what's going on join the colobus conversation at this time on al jazeera. hello i'm barbara starr in london these are the top stories on al-jazeera iran's government is calling on people not to take part in what it says are illegal gatherings protests driven by anger over the call me gain momentum on saturday student demonstrators turn their anger towards iran's foreign policy means.


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