Michelle Pressend: Mainstream Media Misses Debate on Commodification of Natural Resources

24 Nov 2011

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There is a lack of analysis of the broader political economy, globalization and global economic policies that our governments have adopted with respect to reporting on climate change, argued SACSIS columnist, Michelle Pressend.

For example, there is a lot of talk about how farmers have to change their planting seasons, seeds, and so on - but somehow the whole aspect about trade and international subsidies, or how food security and food sovereignty is affected by global corporations, is left out.

Similarly, the concept of the commodification of natural resources is not interrogated. As far as Pressend is concerned, she gets the sense that the media thinks its "okay to privatize the air and forests."

Pressend made these remarks at a roundtable discussion, which sought to ascertain how the South African media is reporting on climate change in the run up to COP17. The roundtable was co-hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office and the South African Civil Society Information Service. It took place on November 11, 2011.

Keynote speakers at the event included: Brendan Boyle (Editor, Daily Dispatch), Sue Blaine (Environment and Development Editor, Business Day), Prof. Herman Wasserman, (Deputy Head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University), Bobby Peek (Director, Groundwork) and Saliem Fakier (Head of the Living Planet Unit at the World Wildlife Fund and SACSIS columnist).

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/471.19.

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