The biggest challenge that I face as a photojournalist in this day and age

As much as I have dedicated myself to fighting for the planet, I haven’t decided yet how I feel about dying for the cause. I just want fishermen to be happy, really.

I’m currently still caught up in the world of development and haven’t really experienced what it’s like to be a full-fledged photojournalist. If I were to describe my deepest anxiety with the career path I’ve chosen for myself, however, it’d be the general safety of my work and the messages I want to deliver.

I take from the previous DVJ class the idea that there really is no such thing as purely-It’s okay to be pursuant of social justice in the service of the people, so long as, in doing so, you maintain some semblance of objectivity in your reporting of the facts. I’ve personally decided to make the pursuit of conservation and environmental justice my own field of journalistic interest — and herein lies the anxiety.

A country like the Philippines has a pretty horrible track record when it comes to the protection of journalists. We were host to the single largest massacre of journalist, for example. Lots of the countries’ biggest names are also involved in the desecration of the environment as well, from politicians to industry leaders to wealthy individuals. The cards are quite stacked, I imagine, against those who wish to report for the sake of protecting our natural resources.

The biggest challenge I foresee is in combatting the nastiest of political forces and vested interests that would look to keep my messages from ever hitting. If not my outright murder one day for some environmental story or other I may have decided to doggedly pursue, I worry whether or not those political forces and vested interests would find ways to bar my articles and pieces, twist my words, buy out or bully into submission the very agencies who would pick up and air the stories I’d have to tell. I worry about paid trolls and fake news and the mechanisms of soft censorship that would push back against what I believe are the stories that need to be told in order for us to protect the Philippines.

I have yet to truly break out into the world of photojournalism, but I know I want to make an impact and to convince the public that the protection of the environment ought to be of top priority. I want to learn how to protect myself and my work against those who would want me quiet, so that I may reach the world with my stories of conservation.