Several week ago, I blogged about the risk of doing environmental reporting in repressive countries. Now we have a report from CBS News about a “60 Minutes” crew roughed up in China while reporting on toxic dumping.
Scott Pelley and his crew were jumped while reporting on an “e-waste” facility in Guiyu, in southeast China, where electronic waste is dismantled using methods that expose workers and the surrounding community to exceedingly high levels of toxic chemicals.
There is no doubt that government restrictions and intimidation are inhibiting reporting on other environmental stories in China that have global implications–from food safety to emissions from coal-fueled power plants. This is another reason why China’s repressive media policies are not just a local problem. We all have a stake in ensuring that these kinds or stories can be reported openly and safely.