Webinar on Green Blackout: How Corporations Use Lawsuits to Intimidate Environmental Journalists
- Organised by: Climate Tracker Inc.
- Date: 24.02.2018
- Time: 1600 hrs to 1730 hrs Indian Time (UTC+5:30)
Expert Panellist: Subir Ghosh
Moderated by: Mrinalini Shinde
The webinar will focus on how lawsuits are used to target environmental journalists and suppress environmental information. Mr. Ghosh’s personal experience with SLAPPs in his reporting and in the publication of his book, and his advice for journalists writing on environmental issues on how to protect themselves.
The webinar will be open to live questions from the audience on Youtube and Twitter.
What are SLAPPs?
Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation or ‘SLAPP’s are lawsuits filed against civil society or the press, but without any legal merit. They are usually filed against journalists or members of civil society in order to intimidate them with legal costs so that they give up their criticism or reportage.
Environmental journalism has globally witnessed significant incidence of SLAPPs and this can have tremendous consequences on environmental protection.
A flow of information about the environment is vital for environmental advocates and civil society to effectively defend the environment. Using SLAPPs to intimidate even a few journalists or organisation can lead to a chilling effect, and the public no longer has access to facts about environmental realities.
This lack of open information leads to lower compliance of environmental laws and fewer consequences for violators and polluters. Moreover, journalists are unable to do their jobs without fear of retribution and denying the public their right to participate in the democratic process.
“If writing and reportage are shackled, it is democracy which gets undermined. It is the people who lose their unfettered right to know.”- Official website of “Sue the Messenger”
About Subir Ghosh
Subir Ghosh is one of India’s leading environmental journalists, with an expertise in coverage relating to forests, wildlife, development, human rights and Northeast India. He is an independent journalist, researcher and author, and currently also the Contributing Editor at Fibre2Fashion in Bangalore.
He has previously served as an editor for several leading media organisations such as Daily News & Analysis, Newswatch, The Telegraph and the Press Trust of India. He has also served as the Head of Communications for the Wildlife Trust of India and has worked in the Book Unit of the Centre for Science and Environment.
He has won two national awards for children’s fiction. You can find his writing at www.write2kill.in and he tweets at @write2kill.
He has authored and co-authored several books including Frontier travails: Northeast, the politics of a mess (2001), Gas wars: crony capitalism and the Ambanis (2014), Sue the Messenger: how legal harassment by corporates is shackling reportage and undermining democracy in India (2016), On the Face of it: Chronicle of a Self-Imposed Exile (2017) and Grand Illusion: The GSPC Disaster and the Gujarat Model.
We look forward to hearing about his journey while writing “Sue the Messenger” which documents SLAPP suits in India and his professional experience with SLAPPs.
About Mrinalini Shinde
The discussion will be moderated by Mrinalini Shinde who is a Legal Consultant with Climate Tracker, and a Researcher at the University of Cologne. Her areas of interest include wildlife law, environmental crimes and pollution. She writes on environmental topics for electronic media as a freelance writer.
Mrinalini previously worked as a Litigator at the National Green Tribunal in India and is a graduate of NLSIU, Bangalore. You can follow her on Twitter: @mrinshin
About Climate Tracker
Climate Tracker is a global non-profit, with seven different regional hubs which offers one-on-one trainings, skills development courses and mentorships to youth journalists writing on climate change.
The webinar can be watched live at this link
Link to the Facebook Event is here.