The Ecologist Film Unit (EFU) is an independent, not-for-profit news organisation dedicated to investigative reporting on the environment, food and farming, health, human rights and wildlife issues. We produce original investigative content for broadcast, print and online output, and work with external media outlets and partners to maximise impact and exposure.
Established in 2008 as a partnership between the world famous Ecologist magazine (now Resurgence & Ecologist) and Ecostorm, the ethical research agency, many of our stories have helped set the environmental agenda globally, highlighting injustices and wrongdoing, generating headlines and prompting change.
Why it matters
Genuine investigative reporting of environmental and related issues is both expensive and time consuming, and traditional outlets are increasingly reducing the resources available for in-depth investigations as costs are cut and savings sought. The danger of this situation speaks for itself – vital stories could go untold.
We believe therefore that the future for such reporting lies in innovative and ambitious collaborations between small, highly specialist – and independently funded – news organisations such as ourselves, and bigger, established media outlets. Such models are established in the US, and have been shown to perform an important public service within realistic economic parameters. We want to mirror this in the UK and globally.
About the team
Jim Wickens, co-founder & director
Jim is one of Britain’s leading investigative journalists and film makers, and the co-founder of both the EFU and Ecostorm. Jim has spent the last decade documenting unreported environmental issues around the world, including exposing illicit whale-meat smuggling in Japan, filming the brutal Namibian seal hunt, documenting murders and poisoning linked to Argentina’s soya trade, breaking the story of the perils of fracking in the US to a UK audience, and filming illegal trawling far out to sea in Burmese waters. Most recently he highlighted the devastating impact palm oil is having on Indonesia’s endangered elephant population.
Andrew Wasley, co-founder & director
Andrew is an investigative journalist and writer specialising in food, the environment and consumer affairs. As well as co-founding the EFU and Ecostorm, he was editor of the influential Ecologist magazine between 2010 and 2012, during which time the magazine carried out a series of groundbreaking investigations including uncovering Coca Cola’s links to exploitation and suffering of migrant workers in the Italian orange harvest, exposing sexual abuse at a major Unilever tea plantation supplying PG Tips and Lipton, and revealing the unreported – and sometimes fatal – health risks linked to popular antibiotics. His stories have also appeared in The Observer, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Times, Index On Censorship, The Big Issue, Red Pepper and Internazionale, amongst many others.
Katy Jenkyns, production & finance manager
Katy joined the Ecologist Film Unit in 2011 and works as a production and financial manager. She also manages the edit suite and the scope of her role has recently widened to include project management. She co-produced the EFU film Liquid Ivory, exploring the links between palm oil production and the decline of the Sumatran elephant. Prior to joining the team, Katy helped to set up and co-run an orangutan conservation charity, the Sumatran Orangutan Society.