NO to the environmental censorship in Navarra · GURELUR

GURELUR - Fondo Navarro para la Protección del Medio Natural Manuel de Falla, 8
31005 Pamplona/Iruña
Tel.: 948 15 10 77 · 606 980 068
Non-profit-making association
Foundation year: 1991
Action area: Navarre

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NO to the environmental censorship in Navarra

Most of the media in Navarra censor Gurelur and act like vulgar spokespeople for the Regional Government

During the 80s and 90s, we were able to boast examples of journalism in Navarre which, although logically hinging on the ideological and financial persuasions of their owners, tackled environmental problems without too much censorship. Most of these contained the many protests that we ecologist groups were compelled to make as a result of the proliferation of aggressive projects from an environmental point of view and owing to the unsustainable management of our nature and the money that we taxpayers set aside for its protection via the general budgets for Navarre pursued by the different environmental departments of the Regional Government.
The interest and freedom the media in Navarre have enjoyed during that time with regard to environmental issues that affected our autonomous region meant that press conferences and any other action taken on the part of ecologists ensured a major presence of journalists. This consequently angered both the Department of the Environment and companies or entities being condemned.
It is well-known that the media constitutes an essential tool for helping to protect the environment, as if citizens are kept informed about aggressive projects and mismanagement on the part of environmental administrative bodies, this raises social awareness which in turn compels politicians to act to find a solution to the environmental aggressions being condemned.
In the nineties, the Department of the Environment of the Regional Government of Navarre - which failed to pursue any conservationist activity while at the same time permitting any type of building activity, irrespective of the legality or environmental sustainability of the latter – felt hounded by the continuous news appearing in newspapers and on TV and on radio about such aggressions. More than one Regional Government Minister for the Environment publicly complained about the fact that we ecologists seemed to have more credibility than the politicians, this being what most concerned them rather than the proper management of our natural resources and the need to carry out their work in an appropriate manner – which is none other than the suitable management of the environment in Navarre, complying with the laws that govern this.
During the period when Mr. Marcotegui was Head of Environment and Mr. Belarra Head of the Cabinet, the Regional Government of Navarre embarked on a campaign to control the media which had enjoyed more success than originally anticipated, in the light of what is going on at present, in order to prevent the media from publishing condemnation and other messages from ecologists.
Various editors-in-chief and leading journalists from the different media, concerned with the way things were going, started to inform us about meetings that were being held involving those responsible for the environment with their bosses to pressurize them to prevent Gurelur and its work and protests from continuing to be reported in the media.
It would now appear that most of the media has succumbed to the censorship imposed by the Regional Government of Navarre in return for grants, advertising and advertising features, etc. Our press releases, condemnation, environmental activities and our very existence have disappeared from the news, much to the shame and disgust of professionals from the world of journalism, who have become mere spokespeople for Public Administration, repeating the same environmental lies invented by the destroyers in charge of the Department of the Environment.
The effrontery with which journalistic “control”  is wielded by the Regional Government is such that, in addition to silencing ecologists’ protests, they have also ended up censoring  the very existence of 3 environmental education centres and our pioneering conservationist campaigns in Navarre, among which are included the Eaglet Project and the Stork Campaign.
Among the journalistic censorship that the environment and those of us who work in its defence are being forced to endure, attention should be drawn to the written media: DIARIO DE NAVARRA and DIARIO DE NOTICIAS. The censorship being practised by the former comes as no surprise to citizens who are aware of the situation being experienced by press freedom in our autonomous region. What has been surprising and what we spoke about in the past is the brutal censorship being pursued by Diario de Noticias – not in vain is this a newspaper that advertises itself as a plural medium. Diario de Noticias has gone over more to the right than without so much as blushing. Its advertising slogan “You are what you read” would be better translated as “You are what they pay you”. As we have already pointed out, most of the radio and TV stations in Navarre pursue similar forms of censorship: you’ve made your bed, now lie in it.
In view of this situation, the environment in Navarre is being seriously affected. Poorly-run administrative bodies and companies which are destroying nature in Navarre are now laughing at our protests, as they know they are not going to appear in the local media and so their misdeeds  therefore remain concealed.
Another consequence of this censorship is that the Department of the Environment and companies responsible for polluting the environment are fooling the public by issuing messages conveying a notion of environmental normality. In doing so, they are able to count on the help of biologists, “ecologists” and natural science associations, in return receiving grants for various conferences, bird censuses and arbitrary work in their companies “Viveros y Repoblaciones” and CRANA.
As a result of this situation, all that remains for us an organ of expression is our website, in addition to our publications and acts in which we have direct contact with Navarre society. We need citizens to help us spread the word about the execrable censorship we are being subjected to by the media in Navarre.  We are going to try and do this by organising different acts in public condemnation of what is happening.


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