Climate Change Author Exposed Rappler's Lack of Ethics by Partnering with Shell on Environmental Issues

A veteran climate change author and well-known environmentalist Renee Juliene Karunungan called out Rappler and exposed the news media outlet's lack of ethics on their partnershp with Shell, an alleged irresponsible company, particularly on environmental issues.


According to the veteran environmentalist and author, she supported Rappler on their fight for free press, but now she honestly called out the company in their lack of merits.

Karunungan explained that Rappler as a media organization has championed climate change issues in the last few years, they even pioneered Project Agos but now the worse part is that they asked her, a climate change/environmental journalists to write branded content/advertorial for Shell, a company which the author accused of being one of the biggest polluters in the world, a company that has refused to acknowledge its responsiblity to the planet and the people, a company that has funded climate denial in the meida, a company who has kept climate change from the public despite knowing about it early on (during the 1980's).



The veteran climate change author exposed the bigger problem, not only Rappler's money is allegedly coming from dirty money but also because Rappler is asking journalists to write an advertorial - an article highlighting only what this company is positively doing, in exchange for money.

Here's the Complete Revelations of the Climate Change Author:

We support when something merits support and we call out when something needs to be called out. I've supported Rappler in their fight for free press, but now I'm calling out Rappler in their lack of ethics.

Rappler, a media organization who in the last few years has championed climate change issues and has pioneered Project Agos, is apparently being funded by Shell through advertisements. What is worse is they now ask climate change/environmental journalists to write branded content/advertorial for Shell — one of the biggest polluters in the world, a company that has refused to acknowledge its responsibility to the planet and people, a company that has funded climate denial in the media, a company who has kept climate change from the public despite knowing about it early on (in the 1980's!).

Now, this is a problem. Not only because Rappler's money is coming from dirty money but also because Rappler is asking journalists to write an advertorial — an article highlighting only what this company is positively doing, in exchange for money. Can a journalist write about Shell's irresponsibility in the last decades and how they still continue to drill oil in an advertorial? Can a journalist criticize their Zero Carbon plans, which already has been said to be not in line with a sustainable future? No. Because this is a paid ad.



Shell's Sky Scenario is green washing. They want people to believe they are doing good for the environment, but looking at the report more critically, Shell still sees a future where fossil fuels are heavily used. They rely much on carbon capture and storage technologies which don't even exist and are not proven to work at scale!

A responsible journalist will not write an advertorial, period. It's funny because just yesterday, I was having a conversation with Latvian journalist Sandra Kropa and Canadian-Dutch journalist Bernice Notenboom. Sandra said, "I will never accept money from the government for my shows." Apparently Latvian government has been problematic in wanting to show that they are doing good things for the environment although they are doing otherwise. Then, Bernice said, "Of course! That is like me asking money from Shell!"

That kids, is journalism ethics. You don't become a journalist to write articles paid for by any company.

This is the problem of Philippine media. We don't have public broadcasters, and media is either owned by government or privately funded by corporations. That means it will always prioritize government propaganda or companies where there is money. It will never be just for the interest of the public. Remember Inquirer's coverage of mining? It was biased towards the mining sector, because its owners are part of the mining chamber of the Philippines. This is the sad reality of Philippine media.



But, going back to Rappler — please sort this out, kaunting delikadeza at ethics naman sana. Talagang nag-invite ng climate journalist to write a branded content for Shell? Kakatawa. You will not see The Guardian partnering with Shell or asking their climate journalists to write for Shell because they have a Keep It In The Ground campaign. Similarly, if Rappler is serious about their climate change campaign (which reminds me they also campaign for SDG's and hello, we can't have a sustainable future with fossil fuels), and want to be credible, they should stop partnering with Shell and any other polluter. Or else, wala, lip service lang pala ang lahat. Pakitang tao lang pala.

Dear Rappler, please don't do this again. Show us how truly committed you are with your climate change advocacy.

EDIT: Talked to someone in Rappler about this. They thought it was unethical for me to post a private conversation and post to public, as they said I could have gone through formal communications with them. I told them it's for transparency and for the public's interest to know what they are doing, so I'm not taking it down. They also said they are already doing something about it internally. So let's see what they do. The point still stands---Shell funds them, and whether or not Shell can influence what they put out, they are still funded by a fossil fuel company. And they attempted to get a climate journalist to write an advertorial for them.

Source: Renee Julienne M. Karunungan FB Page

Climate Change Author Exposed Rappler's Lack of Ethics by Partnering with Shell on Environmental Issues Climate Change Author Exposed Rappler's Lack of Ethics by Partnering with Shell on Environmental Issues Reviewed by Phil Newsome on July 01, 2018 Rating: 5
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