Media Development 2019/4
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International public service media from G-7 countries have reported “strong audience increases” since the Covid-19 pandemic, which they interpret as a show of confidence for the “reliable and independent information” they deliver on multiple communication platforms, in a variety of languages, on all continents. 

It’s a familiar story. Toe the government line – any government – and survive. Criticize the government, or its cronies, or policies that benefit the few rather than the majority, and risk censure or worse. Investigative journalism examines questions of public interest: crime and corruption, certainly, but also deceit and failure. Fair and balanced coverage of issues that impact ordinary people distinguishes good journalism from bad journalism, genuine news from fake news.

Indigenous peoples are “not mere victims of climate change,” asserts researcher and conservation biologist Gleb Raygorodetsky in Why traditional knowledge holds the key to climate change, one of the articles in the latest issue of Media Development, WACC Global’s international quarterly journal. The issue explores the theme, Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change: Bridging the Gap.

With the onset of the current pandemic, things are bound to get a lot more challenging for many migrants and refugees, as well as for the societies that host them. The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide was already the highest it had been in decades even before the global coronavirus crisis. In 2016,  about 40 million people became internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 22.5 million,  refugees.  Most migrants are extremely vulnerable both to the health and socio-economic effects of COVID-19. They are constantly on the move, work in the service economy, and have limited access to public services. Women migrants are particularly affected.  We have read  stories of hundreds of Venezuelan migrants violating the government-imposed quarantine in Colombia by trying to return to Venezuela at all costs, where they hope to at least they access the country’s precarious health system and look after their families. Most had been working in Colombia’s informal economy and, after the lockdown, were unable to earn a living. 

By Philip Lee Many believe that an essential element of ways of responding to the current climate crisis lies in the traditional knowledge held by Indigenous Peoples. The way they think about life and death, natural resources, and the intimate and intricate relationship they have with land, ought to offer pertinent answers to pressing questions of mitigation, adaptation, and survival.

By Lila Pine All my relations. The land. The songs. The language. The stories. The people. The dances. The plants and the animals. The sun and the moon. The water. The earth. The climate changing. To understand these things from Indigenous perspectives it is necessary to begin at the beginning. The Creation Stories. 

By Gleb Raygorodetsky The very identity of indigenous peoples is inextricably linked with their lands, which are located predominantly at the social-ecological margins of human habitation – such as small islands, tropical forests, high-altitude zones, coasts, desert margins and the circumpolar Arctic. Here at these margins, the consequences of climate change include effects on agriculture, pastoralism, fishing, hunting and gathering and other subsistence activities, including access to water.