The environmental journalism Sydney-(out)sider
A story called “Adani may face fine over sediment released in floodwaters after Cyclone Debbie” by Joshua Robertson was published last week in The Guardian. It is an important follow up story regarding the controversial Queensland coal port and the continuation of questionable actions taken by Adani in the area.
This news story is interesting for a number of reasons. It is firstly very accessible to a large number of readers, and seems to be directed at a general audience. That said, it may perhaps be of more interest to residents of Queensland and people who are particularly concerned about the environment in that area. Additionally, though the writer mostly takes a fairly objective stance, the amount of conservationist sources that he references makes the article quite clearly pro-conservationists and pro-environment, and subsequently takes an angle that calls for the strict observation and regulation of coal companies.
In his article, Robertson also adopts the angle that local government actually does care about the environment and essentially that they can be trusted to solve these issues, which perhaps runs counter to what many (especially liberal) people think about their elected officials. There are a few other different angles Robertson could have taken with this article though. He could have written about the positives of having the Adani coal port in the area, maybe they provide jobs and contribute to the economy! He also could have adopted a more environmental/ecological perspective, or even one focusing on the residents and what effect the sediment is having on their communities.
Ultimately, the biggest problem that I noticed with this article was the lack of sources from the opposing viewpoint. The author gave a lot of space to the conservationists’ opinions, but ultimately lacked any real contribution from Adani or anyone who supports the mine. It was pointed out in class that the one opposing quote was ultimately a throw-away line. We also mentioned that Adani does not ever respond to any comments about their operations, especially negative ones, so that is a main reason why their comments are missing from the article. All in all, the amount of conservationist sources indicates what side that author is on, but also unfortunately makes the article quite long and repetitive.