The environmental journalism Sydney-(out)sider
On Friday April 7, 2017, Damian Carrington highlighted how virtually all farms could slash their pesticide use without hindering the farm’s production. He prevents facts and statistics that support his claim and then contrasts those with the biases of the billion-dollar industry of pesticide manufacturing.
Through his article, Carrington states that relevant information about alternatives to pesticides is withheld from farmers because much of their advice comes from representatives of companies that sells both seeds and pesticides. This introduces an issue for farmers because the pesticides are damaging their farms unnecessarily.
Carrington’s writing is engaging. His introduction lures the reader in, making them wonder about the logistics of the situation and why farmers are not receiving the relevant information they need to make educated decisions for their farm’s wellbeing. Since this is a feature article, he only introduces the ‘who’ and ‘what’ in the lead paragraph. As the story develops, the ‘when,’ ‘where,’ and ‘why’ are added to provide more details.
The article has a large array of different sources from both sides of the argument, which adds to Carrington’s credibility. Even though he does show some bias for reducing pesticide use, he allows Graeme Taylor, a spokesman for the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), to discuss how a reduction of pesticide use could be quite damaging to certain crops such as grapes, potato, and sugar beet farms. However, in my opinion, Carrington loses some credibility because he does not go into detail about the sources that he does use. At one point, he introduces Buglife, a nature conservation charity, however, he just simply states the name of the charity without giving any context or even saying that it is a charity. Without information like this, readers are left guessing about sources. Professor Molloy brought up the point that this could possibly be caused by an editor slashing out “irrelevant” information to shorten the article, but this should be watched as it can be confusing.
All in all, Carrington uses his sources well to get his message across to the reader, and does this in an engaging manner that captivates the reader throughout the article. The article effectively allows the reader to question whether or not pesticides are necessary to be used in large quantities on a majority of farms.