Reporting in jungles isn’t for the faint of heart. Rhett Butler, founder and editor-in-chief of environmental news website Mongabay, talks about getting stranded in a dangerous situation in Suriname, the many jungle diseases he has gotten, and some tips for getting phone signal in the rainforest. He also tells us the origins of Mongabay go back to books he started writing as a teenager and ended with an empire of sites in a dozen different languages.
Rhett discusses his fascination with animals and tropical rainforests as a kid (5:32), writing books on tropical fish and rainforests as a teenage (8:32), quitting his day job to launch the Mongabay news service (16:12), running a news website and trying to find phone signal in the forest (22:00), launching Mongabay’s Indonesian version as the site turned into a non-profit (25:11), trends in environmental news (37:45), a reporting trip in China that ran afoul of authorities (46:55), his story on Madagascar rosewood deforestation that led the president to call him a bastard (50:03) and the lightning round (57:22)
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