FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Media Consortium Announces In-Depth, Collaborative Journalism and Reporting Initiative
in Kauai, Hawaii Around Pesticide Use and GMOs
The Media Consortium announced today its participation in the Kauai Media and Journalism Project—The World is Watching. The Kauai Project is designed to look at Kauai as a microcosm of biotech agriculture and its impacts both on local communities and on the world’s food supply.
Over the next two years, up to ten Media Consortium member news organizations will send reporters to Kauai. Reporters will collaborate, sharing sources and story ideas; outlets will publish jointly across different media platforms; and all will cross-promote each other’s content using a joint website. Outlets taking part in the first phase of this project include Earth Island Journal, Truthout, Specialty Studios, KCET/LINKTV, and Yes! Magazine.
Why Kauai? Kauai is the subject of this project because it is not only a microcosm of the issues surrounding biotech agriculture such as pesticide-based pollution and GMO food, but also a microcosm of other important issues facing communities all over the world. Money in politics, overbearing corporate influence, corruption, new solutions for sustainable local economies, indigenous rights, rights of nature, and state and federal influence and preemption over local governments to protect the health and welfare of their people, are all strongly present on Kauai and make for a rich set of stories that need to be investigated, reported on, and shared with the world. This is the goal of the project – to have the members of The Media Consortium collaborate with each other and leverage their resources to dig in, get to the truth of the matter, and reveal the deeper interconnectedness of these issues so the world understands better what is happening in Kauai and in their communities.
This fall, people on the island have taken action to attempt to rein in pesticide use. On September 8, 2013, several thousand people marched to the Kauai County Building to protest the use of pesticides on biotech fields. They were advocating for passage of Bill 2491, a pesticide “right to know” bill. According to local TV KHON 2, “the bill requires farms to disclose pesticide use and the presence of genetically modified crops and requires buffer zones near schools, homes, medical facilities, public roads and waterways.”
The political fight over Bill 2491continues. After an exhaustive democratic legislative process with unprecedented local participation and comment, the Kauai County Council passed the bill with a 6-1 vote. The Mayor then vetoed the Bill. The council has now scheduled a vote to consider overriding the veto on Thursday November 14, 2013. This is why The Media Consortium is on Kauai already, with journalists on the ground to cover the events as they unfold, and then to stay and continue the work it takes to thoughtfully cover and report on these complex and important issues in depth.
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