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Environmental reporters are the 'Bedouin guard' like the one who revealed to the residents of Emek Halla the reason for the excavations in their yard

So said Haaretz reporter Avner Hoffstein, who received a commendation at the Pratt Award ceremony for an article in which he exposed the interests behind the oil shale 'experiment' that was done behind the residents' backs. Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz promised that the next step will be to stop the distribution of sleeve bags in supermarkets

Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz at the 2013 Pratt Award for Environmental Communication ceremony, which took place in May 2014. Photo: Hashel Center
Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz at the 2013 Pratt Award for Environmental Communication ceremony, which took place in May 2014. Photo: Hashel Center

On Thursday, the Heschel Center and the Pratt Foundation in Tel Aviv held the 12th annual Pratt Award ceremony in the field of environmental communication.
Many difficult things were said at the conference. One of the most prominent in the Prophet of Rage was G. Confino, editor of the Guardian Sustainable Business (See separate report).

The greatest prophet of rage was Ha'aretz reporter Avner Hofstein who won a commendation for his article "Divide and rule" (which was published on April 26.4.2013, XNUMX in the Haaretz supplement): "The article about the Adolim region had several collaborators: Aviv Lavi, Aloka Ganeh, Shahar Alterman, the editor Mikey Dagan who stood up well in the face of all the threats. It is interesting that the public struggle regarding the oil shale in the Halla Valley was born after one of the residents there noticed one day on his way to work inexplicable drilling in the area of ​​his house. He left his house, pedaled his bicycle and saw that they were drilling in the ground, he came home and saw that they were still drilling in the ground. Finally, curiosity got the better of him and he wanted to understand why a canal was built in Laumilech in the middle of nature. He approached the drillers. For the first time they claimed to be drilling to look for water. It didn't make sense to him, he asked again, he was told that it was something related to the OT. When he realized that he would not get an answer from the professionals, he turned to the Bedouin guard and he said to him: "This is one billionaire looking for oil."
It is interesting that it was the Bedouin guard who told the truth because he apparently has no personal interest in the story, neither profit nor loss. He was the one who managed to turn on a red light among the residents of the area who realized that something not kosher was happening under their pure soil.

We are here today to give awards to the Bedouin guards wherever they are. All of us here, the winners, the judges and the audience joined this profession because we want to tell the truth without interests and without spins and without considerations of expediency just like that Bedouin guard. And above us, like above that guard, there are a lot of people who are looking for oil instead of the press and along the way are also trying to persuade us to stop telling the truth so that God forbid we don't interfere with the quality of the oil they are trying to distill from that press, but we think we need to keep drilling for those drillers in the brain until they start to understand that the polluted environment that they create, whether it's in the valley of Ella or in the corridors of government, harms the quality of life for all of us.

MK Nitzan Horowitz, who was one of the awardees (and also won it a few years ago as a journalist) also spoke about the importance of environmental writing: "The award expresses the concept of what I see as a shared responsibility for social change. In a democratic society there are many centers of influence - not only the Knesset and the government. The media is one of the main ones and journalists have a lot of influence. Sometimes there is an attitude among them that says 'I'm just reporting, what power do I have?' You have a lot of power. A successful struggle always requires a combination of forces and a combination of bodies that work together - media, court, private market, activists, Knesset members, academia and then succeed."
"Now a number of critical issues are on the agenda: the removal of representatives of the environment and civil society in general from the planning bodies, the taxation of natural remains, a clear field of struggle that I do not see the end of, the law on beaches. It is impossible to manage all of these without media backup. It's okay for a journalist to have an agenda and a journalist brings his spirit into the writing. It's good for the newspaper, it's good for the media and it's good for Israeli society."

As is customary at the Pratt Awards ceremony, the Minister of Environmental Protection opens the conference, and this is Amir Peretz's second time in this position, and he chose to describe his activities in the past year, including the fight against gas exports, which was partially successful ('turn the decision from 60% export to 40% from the gas that will be released'), to the current struggle to prevent the exclusion of representatives of the various environmental organizations from the sub-committees of the Planning and Construction Council where the real work is done, when the plenary of the council puts its hands on the decisions made by the sub-committees.
A central part of his speech was devoted to dealing with the disposal of waste, among other things by placing ambushes to prevent the departure of garbage trucks to Judea and Samaria, and allocating budgets to weak authorities - mainly in the Arab sector to deal with garbage.
Another issue that Minister Peretz dealt with, according to him, is the streams: "In every settlement that has a stream, and the settlement wants to turn the stream into an urban living fabric, the most prominent example is the village of Reina, a bird stream runs through the village. To my great joy, there is a great response, the local government understands that the streams can become a significant asset and it is taking a significant share."
Finally, the minister described the next significant step he is planning - a law that will outlaw the distribution of bags in supermarkets. "Today, Israelis throw away two billion bags a year, and only ten percent of them manage to return and receive menstrual treatment. We will distribute reusable baskets to all citizens, and impose a fee on the plastic bags, the money of which will go back to a fund that will serve environmental interests. According to him, the marketing chains are cooperating.

The entire event took place as a sign of the changes for the worse that are taking place in both the world of media and the world of the environment, and many of the speakers referred to the exclusion of environmental representatives from the planning committees, and the general state of most newspaper systems. On the other hand, there was a lot of talk about the importance of continuing the work, and remembering to recognize the successes that have been achieved in different centers.

Below is a breakdown of the winners in the following categories:
• Extensive communication
The award in this category was presented by MK Nitzan Horowitz, a graduate of Heschel's fellows program and winner of the 2007 Pratt Award, who spoke about how the Pratt Award expresses the concept of social change, and emphasizes the weight journalism has in areas of influence.
The winner in this category is Haaretz reporter Netta Ahitov, according to the judges: "Netta Ahitov's writing is a clear example of serious, meaningful and correct journalism. Her articles, which deal with a wide variety of topics related to man, society and the environment in Israel, combine persistent and in-depth fieldwork with impressive courage."
A commendation was awarded to Gil Kalyan, a Calcalist reporter, for Kalyan, of whom the judges said that "he is not ashamed or afraid to talk about corporate responsibility, about local production, about the ills of the global economy, and about prices that are difficult to pay - and he does all this under the umbrella of an economic newspaper - Calcalist - whose readers, looking for the lines of space between the lines of the newspaper, are the most important recipients of such words".

• The article prize
The chairman of the judging committee, Avirama Golan, presented the award in this category, and in her words she referred to the fact that the media all over the world is going through a severe socio-economic crisis, with serious political implications, and that the situation in Israel is particularly acute. In light of all this, initiatives such as the Pratt Prize are of great importance, which gives a platform to those engaged in promoting the idea of ​​sustainability, because it corresponds with the past, present and future of all of us.
The winner in the category, Yair Kraus wrote "Maariv" and "Makor Rishon", won for his article "Water War", about which the judges said: "In an age where tweets and statuses create revolutions, and human patience is dwindling, the article "Water War" creates the first small miracle: it Makes the reader read it to the end. The article, which appears to be dealing with a normal environmental issue - not to mention from heaven - such as the supervision of springs, turns out to be a ticking bomb that touches on every sensitive issue in Israel and Israelis. In an article that deals with man and nature, an article that illuminates human nature is revealed."

Avner Hofstein received a TLS for his article "Shale and Shul" about the oil shale in the Elah Valley, about which the judges said: "Avner Hofstein's article is a successful example of the concept that a news story can grow from the field in an (almost) independent manner. A large-scale investigation is presented to the readers, revealing a complicated and complex map of interests, an investigation that goes without fear, following the big money, the political moves and the environmental dangers.

• Independent communication
Yoav Lerman, from the blog "Oud Blog Tel Avivi" and winner of the 2010 Pratt Award, presented the awards in this category.
The winner Amir Shalu, who runs the blog "The Bus Rider" was praised by the judging committee especially for the fact that "the unique blog is written in fluent and fascinating language about public transportation in the State of Israel, and reading it many times makes readers long for a bus ride just as readers of travel guides look forward to the next trip."
The independent internet magazine "The Hottest Place in Hell" received a commendation, and the judges said, "The founders of the magazine face quite a bit of a difficult economic and media reality. Establishing an internet newspaper is an ambitious and not an easy task. Turning such a newspaper into an influential factor in the media and social field - this is an almost impossible task. In our opinion, the hottest place in hell met both tasks successfully."
• Local communication
Avi Gertzman from the judging committee, presented the award to the winners in the local category, and spoke about the importance of strengthening this aspect of journalism, and that many times it is precisely the local reporters who manage to drive change and initiatives.
Elisha Ben Kimon, a local Hot News reporter, won the award and the judges said, "In an era when the local media in Israel suffers from a lack of clarity about its future at best, and an existential crisis at worst, Elisha Ben Kimon perseveres in quality journalistic work, and detailed and diligent investigation, which, first and foremost, to the local residents".

The Dogirnet website, a social website for the residents of the Galilee, received a commendation, and the judges especially noted the adherence to the task of maintaining the website regularly in two languages ​​- Hebrew and Arabic. They also added and said, "The website stands out in the landscape and earned it a place of honor among the citizens of the Galilee, Arabs and Jews." . The site courageously and richly covers problems of environmental injustice and injustice in general."
• The application award
This category is awarded for the first time this year, and it was added in light of the recognition that today information that is available and accessible to the public, is not necessarily found through newspapers or blogs. The award was presented by Barak Goldstein, from Terra Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that invests in initiatives that have a positive impact on the environment and people.
The well-known app Moovit, which since its launch is now used in 100 different cities around the world, won this category, and the judges said that "the people of Moovit were able to collect all the information scattered about buses, arrival times, etc., and together with the wisdom of the crowd, present it in a way Convenient, easy and clear to understand for the hundreds of thousands of public transport users in Israel."
This win joins the win of the "Bus Rider" blog, and came as a statement by the judging committee to emphasize the importance of the direct impact between transportation and the environment, and the damages it causes per second.

5 תגובות

  1. I'm sure you understood, but for the sake of the innocent surfers, I'll really explain. The intention was the very idea of ​​preserving the environment in the Negev. When all the green organizations that the fund finances are adamantly opposed to any new Jewish settlement or the construction of infrastructure such as the train to Eilat or the sea canal or solar power plants and at the same time passionately promote the establishment of thousands of illegal Bedouin settlements (land where Bedouin camels once defecated has been considered their land since the dinosaurs ) that cause enormous pollution and desertification.

  2. I didn't understand the response, it has nothing to do with the Bedouin, they keep the Bedouin as guards, but if it was an Ethiopian working in a personnel company, then the article would be fine?

  3. Only Jewish construction and development disturbs the leftists whom the Foundation for the Destruction of Israel and the Establishment of Palestine appoints, the "environmentalists" (from the Jews), the wild construction, pollution and massive desertification caused by the Bedouins does not disturb them, but on the contrary they protest against it.

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