Scholar’s Spotlight- Jez Fredenburgh

Investigation into the global wildfire emergency 

Jez has been working full time as an agricultural journalist for six years starting as a business reporter and editor at Farmers Weekly in the UK, and now as a freelancer for the last two years. She has covered stories in the UK for Farmers Guardian, is an editor for EatFarmNow, a new digital platform showcasi ng stories from farmers, and produces a farming podcast titled ‘Who Gives A Fork’. She has also written stories about farmers in Colombia for Huck magazine, in Kenya and Ivory Coast for BBC Futures, and Ecuador for National Geographic Traveller Food. Jez has won awards from the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists for her podcast on the Rural Youth Project, for an investigative story into supermarket ‘fake farms’, and received a travel bursary to report in China and Hong Kong, producing a 6-part feature series with audio and video.

Jez is interested in the impact of wildfires on agriculture. She notes that Australia’s wildfires are shocking the world right now, but few people are aware that wildfires are a growing threat across the globe, including in colder climates such as Scotland, Norway and Sweden.

Australia is at the extreme end – but it’s an important window into the future.  Her project would pursue this story in a way that modern journalism doesn’t often allow and bring to light a critically important , global issue that is currently receiving little in-depth coverage.

Jez plans to examine the changing nature and severity of wildfires, and the complex causes and solutions that are emerging. She will do this by interviewing people in Portugal in areas affected by the devastating 2017 wildfires, as well as experts and researchers in Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. She plans to pitch the story to national outlets, and will share her project investigations using videos, pictures and commentary on social media.