News journalists are being bribed by the United Nations and the Oxfam charity to write scare stories about climate change ahead of the global climate treaty negotiations in Paris later this year.
Details of the bribes – which take the form of ego-boosting “awards”, global travel in CO2 generating airliners and financial payments – are contained in a news release just published by the UNDP today, an organisation headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Journalists’ codes of ethics prohibit being induced to give favourable coverage, but those rules have increasingly been ignored in recent years by the use of backdoor mechanisms like funding journalism “awards” as a means of generating content and rewarding propaganda-writers.
New Zealand’s major media, like the TV3 network, have frequently covered climate stories in the Pacific with the financial “assistance” of lobby groups like Oxfam and Greenpeace.
The full text of the news release follows:
15 September 2015 – Oxfam will support the Voice2Paris global storytelling contest launched in August by the United National Development Programme (UNDP) by providing three additional fellowships for participating journalists to cover the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP21, in Paris in December. Oxfam’s contribution to the contest aims at encouraging journalists’ participation in climate change reporting and raising public awareness of climate actions.
“The contest is a fantastic opportunity to create awareness of the harmful impacts of climate change on communities, and of potential opportunities in climate-vulnerable developing countries. This is also a great opportunity for young journalists to strengthen their perception of climate change and to frame it not merely as an environmental issue but also as an issue of social justice and poverty alleviation” said Wang Binbin, Manager of the Climate Change and Poverty Team, Oxfam Hong Kong.
The storytelling contest targets writers 35 years and under from developing countries who want to contribute – locally and internationally – towards greater public awareness of climate change.
The authors of the top five prize-winning stories will be invited to attend and cover the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris. UNDP will support the top two winners and Oxfam, as a special partner in the contest, will cover travel costs and per diem for writers of the next three best stories worldwide.
“We welcome the partnership with Oxfam, as it gives UNDP concrete support to expand the voices of vulnerable countries, helps depict the reality of climate change globally, and gives a new generation of journalists a chance to get heard during COP21” said Jo Scheuer, Director, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction at UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.
Stories can be submitted in English, and in Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish with an English translation, on a rolling basis until October 11th, 2015. Guidelines for participating are available on the UNDP Geneva website.
The stories, once screened and scored, will be published on UNDP’s website and disseminated through partners’ channels to ensure maximum outreach and to support the call for an ambitious agenda for climate action to be endorsed at COP21.
Participating organizations: African Network of Environmental Journalists, Care International, China Dialogue, Global Call for Climate Action, International Center for Journalists, Global Village of Beijing, Innovative Green Development Program, InterNews, Pacific Islands News Association, RNTC, RTCC/Climate Home, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and University of the South Pacific.
We also thank the global network of climate vulnerable countries active in the Climate Vulnerable Forum currently chaired by Philippines for its support.