We are pleased to share the results of the All-Russian Grant Journalism Contest: «Baikal: Conservation Instructions» and tell you more about the publications of the winners.
The contest was launched on March 22, 2021, on World Water Resources Day, with the support of partner BAIKALSEA Company. Through the involvement of the Russian journalistic community in the agenda of Lake Baikal conservation, we managed to maintain a global dialogue about the value of water and the need for competent management of the resources of Lake Baikal, the largest reservoir of natural fresh water.
Journalists were invited to create and publish articles on the following topics:
- management of the Baikal Natural Territory;
- sewage treatment plants on Lake Baikal;
- scientific research and development at the BPT.
From June to October, the winning authors worked on the creation of articles: we went on field expeditions together with researchers from specially protected natural areas; interviewed scientists, representatives of regional non-profit organizations, public authorities and debunked myths about ecology.
At the moment, 7 articles of the winners of the contest have been published in federal and regional media:
- Oleg Galikaev, «Groundhog Day in the Barguzin Nature Reserve» («City 812. Petersburg Magazine»), tells about the study and preservation of the red book species – the black-capped marmot;
- Anna Geroeva, «What polluted Baikal» («Kommersant.Science»), in his article reveals the topic of microplastics in Baikal waters
- Svetlana Gorbacheva, «Baikal: to protect or preserve» («Baikal24»), devotes material to sewage and sewage treatment plants on Lake Baikal;
- Tatiana Melentyeva, «Baikal-GVD Neutrino Telescope» («Camel on Fire»), traced the history of the present, past and future of a unique neutrino telescope;
- Ekaterina Mereminskaya, «Lake of Problems: What kills Baikal» («Plus One»), touches on the most acute problems of the Baikal natural territory and offers solutions for them;
- Anastasia Troyanova, «How endemics and cosmopolitans fight in the Baikal universe» («Plus One»), talks about the unique Baikal ecosystem and breaks down the frequent alarmism;
- Egor Shcherbakov, «Damocles sludge», «Outliving the complex of a small town» («East Siberian Truth»), in a series of articles talks about the environmental problems that Baikal inherited from the BCBC, and the mechanisms of adaptation of local residents after the closure of the city-forming enterprise.
Several publications are still being edited by the authors.
Many journalists have turned out to have comprehensive research articles. Especially interesting are the materials from the nomination devoted to science in natural areas: about the accounting of the red-book black-capped marmot (Oleg Galikaev), about the history and application of the neutrino telescope on Lake Baikal (Tatiana Melentyeva), about endemics and other species of the unique Baikal ecosystem (Anastasia Troyanova).
«With the grant support of the Lake Baikal Foundation, Camel on Fire has released a large multimedia special project. It is about how a great world science is being created in the Siberian outback, on the shore of Lake Baikal. We are talking about the Baikal-GVD neutrino telescope. We have been preparing the project for more than four months: shooting videos and photos, collecting information and rewriting it in simple language. It is important for us that a little more people know that Baikal is not only about ecology, but also about great scientific achievements,» says journalist Tatiana Melentyeva.
On the other hand, within the framework of the grant competition, journalists failed to fully disclose the topic of natural resources management on Lake Baikal. Analytics in the field of rational consumption, ecosystem services and responsible production were not covered. The range of environmental topics that still require high-quality coverage is wide: disclosure of environmental monitoring data by businesses and public authorities, mechanisms for monitoring the use of natural resources, sustainable tourism and the role of entrepreneurs in the preservation and competent use of ecosystem services of the Baikal Natural Territory. These important areas are a space for the development of environmental journalism on Lake Baikal.
According to feedback from media editors, journalists should focus more on specific, narrower topics at the same time as working out different opinions, avoiding detailed quoting. It is also important to focus on critical conclusions, refer to regulatory regulation, make forecasts based on expert opinions, and always have feedback from the mentioned party in the publication.
The Foundation congratulates the authors on the publication of publications in federal and regional media with a total coverage of several hundred thousand people. Our advice to readers is together accounted with each publication!
The Foundation expresses its gratitude to the partner of the BAIKALSEA Company for supporting the contest. We also thank our media partner AKSON and, of course, the members of the Expert Council and the editors of the media.