The New York times has closed its environment desk and its environment blogs. Journalists who focus on the environment are understandably dismayed. However, in report of a speech given in Israel, Joe Confino, Executive Editor of the UK newspaper The Guardian, indicates that his newspaper may be gearing up to fill the gap left by the NY Times apparent withdrawal from the green newspaper space.
According to the report, The Guardian has begun a dialogue with executives at the world’s largest corporations with the goal of creating a conversation about environmental protection and sustainability. The Guardian has also begun the development of web sites and ventures that are actually funded by industry and that are intended to move corporations towards sustainability. Of course, this opens the possibility of claims of greenwashing and conflict of interest but Confino seems confident that The Guardian can properly manage these aspects.
GallonDaily and Gallon Environment Letter will be watching the outcomes of these relationships with great interest. If The Guardian can make a go of it, the model may be an interesting one for advancing communication between industry and the public on environment and sustainability matters.
You can find a report of the Confino presentation at http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/is-green-reporting-facing-a-hostile-business-environment-1.509176
Haaretz is an Israeli English-language newspaper. While GallonDaily does not normally cite newspapers as sources, an article about sustainability journalism with a report of a speech that does not appear to be available elsewhere seemed worthy of an exception.
The Guardian’s green pages are available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/series/guardian-environment-network