International environmental journalism organization is established p.

By: Ron Chepesiuk About 100 journalists from more than 20 countries are charter members sp.

AT A MEETING in Dresden, Germany, in October, about 100 environmental journalists from more than 20 countries formed the International Federation of Environmental Journalists, a non-profit professional organization that they hope will help environmental journalists worldwide.
"This organization will help environmental journalists from different countries exchange information with each other," explained Jim Detjen, an environmental reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer, who was elected a vice president of IFEJ.
"Environmental problems, such as ozone depletion, loss of species and air pollution cross national boundaries," Detjen said. "IFEJ will help environmental journalists network with other journalists and assist reporters who want to obtain information from other nations."
Detjen also is president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and he said the SEJ and other national environmental journalism groups will work with IFEJ to organize international conferences, create an international directory of environmental journalists and set up a global computer network to exchange environmental information.
"In time, we plan to offer more support and assistance to journalists who are under pressure for their environmental reporting," Detjen said. "At the same time, we will work hard to expand the free flow of information between countries."
IFEJ will have temporary headquarters in Paris while it looks for a permanent site.
The new organization primarily will consist of national environmental organizations in the United States, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, India and more than a dozen other countries.
Journalists working in countries with no environmental organization will be able to join IFEJ as individual members.
During a day and a half of what Detjen described as "intense discussions," which were translated simultaneously into English, French and German, journalists at the organizational meeting worked out statutes and elected a 13-member administrative council. The IFEJ still must set its dues structure. It is looking for an executive secretary.
The following officers were elected: Darryl D'Monte, Bombay, India ? president; Detjen and Nicholas Lauroy, Paris ? vice presidents; Wolfgang Fruhauf, Luxembourg, Belgium ? treasurer; Valentin Thurn, Cologne, Germany ? secretary; and Michael Schweres-Fichtner, Ulm, Germany ? assistant secretary.
To become viable, IFEJ must overcome some problems, Detjen said.
"Our organizational meeting showed that language can be a problem," he noted. "So we are looking for an executive secretary who is at least fluent in German, French and English."
The SEJ is encouraging members who have language skills or special interests to share with international colleagues to get involved in the new organization.
Detjen said another potential problem is differences between journalists from industrialized and developing countries.
"The practice of environmental journalism varies widely worldwide," he explained.
"In Third World countries, journalists practice advocacy journalism much more than do their colleagues in the U.S. and some of the other Western countries."
Interest in international exchange and cooperation among environmental journalists has been growing during the past year. The SEJ, for example, has been in touch with sister organizations in Kenya and India as well as individuals in Nepal, Japan, Sweden and Australia.
"Environmental problems are global in their scope and impact and demand urgent attention," Detjen said. "That is why there is a need for our organization."


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

Scroll the Latest Job Opportunities From The Media Job Board