Is Asia’s media reporting the real causes of air pollution?

(Eco Business, 1 Dec 2018) It is a public health crisis that kills almost 5 million people in Asia every year. So why isn’t air pollution a bigger story? And why aren’t journalists in Asia reporting on how to solve the problem?

It is a little odd that a problem that kills 4.7 million Asians a year doesn’t make many headlines. Particularly since the culprit—air pollution—is more severe in Asia than anywhere in the world.

Air pollution kills more Vietnamese than motorbike accidents, more Indonesians than malnutrition, and more Filipinos than guns. In fact, Asia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s population, but two-thirds of all air pollution deaths.

So why don’t air pollution stories excite editors much here? It is a question that puzzled delegates at the Better Air Quality (BAQ) Conference in Kuching in November.  

See no evil, report no evil

The obvious reason is that air pollution is hard to see. It’s not easy reporting on something that is invisible. Until it isn’t. Singapore’s skyline, impressive though it is, is not news. Singapore’s skyline cloaked in thick haze is.

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Eco Business, 1 Dec 2018: Is Asia’s media reporting the real causes of air pollution?