Thom Mitchell Is Almost On His Way To The Paris Climate Talks… And China, Brazil or India?


Earlier this week, we launched a fundraiser to get Thom Mitchell, our environmental reporter, to France, to cover the Paris Climate Talks. We’ve almost reached our goal of $10,000… but we need a little more help.

If you want to support this sort of independent media, but haven’t kicked in yet, you can view the Pozible campaign here.

All those who contribute to the campaign will receive regular ‘insider email updates’ from Thom during the Paris talks, but also during his travels if he makes it to another country.

It’s the first in a series of mini-fundraisers New Matilda is launching in the next few days and weeks in a bid to raise $200,000 before Christmas 2015, to secure the future of the site for another year, and to help take our independent reporting to the next level (in case you haven’t noticed, the new site has re-invigorated an old team).

And as promised, if we raise over the $10,000 goal, we’ll direct the money towards more of Thom’s excellent environmental reporting – we’re basically trying to give our readers more bang for their independent media buck.

Specifically, we’ll also look at sending Thom on a story or two on his way back from France.

At the moment, Thom is interested in reporting on the rise of renewables in China – the world’s largest Communist nation is fast becoming a world leader in the roll out of renewables.

Another story high on Thom’s hit list is reporting from India on Adani, the mining giant behind the much-plagued Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin in Queensland. Thom is interested in visiting some of the local communities affected by Adani’s operations in India, which have been shown in some cases to breach environmental law – hardly something that will inspire confidence in Adani not conducting itself the same way in Australia.

If Thom makes it to India, he’s also keen to follow up on a story we published earlier today which explored the dodgy environmental and human rights track record of a company that wants to mine for coal in Sydney’s drinking water catchment (Jindal Steel and Power Limited). The Chairman of the company is facing corruption charges, and Thom’s interest is specifically in a land grab directed against Indigenous groups in India.

Another potential story is the struggle of the Ka’apor tribe in Brazil, who have taken up bows, arrows, GPS trackers and camera traps in their fight against the encroachment of illegal logging in their lands.

If we can divert Thom to other stories on the way home, he’ll be researching and writing them during his Christmas ‘holiday break’ – that’s the unfortunate thing about independent media, there ain’t no such thing as a holiday.

Depending on the funds raised, we might also buy Thom a cheap suit (to wear at the Climate Talks) – Thom doesn’t own one, indeed he’s prone to walking around the office without shoes, contrary to workplace health and safety policies.

Additional funding raised will also go towards Thom’s wage, and supporting his environmental reporting throughout 2016.

Paris Climate Talks

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.