José María Montero Sandoval, born in Córdoba, Spain, in 1963, and holder of a BA in Information Sciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, is a journalist specialized in environmental issues, and a pioneer in this field from his early days on regional newspaper El Correo de Andalucía. Although his professional output has long transcended any local or national boundaries, its focus has predominantly been on his native Andalusia.
He was one of the founders of the Spanish Association of Environmental Journalists and a member of its Management Board from 1998 to 2002. He is currently Director of the International Seminar on Journalism and the Environment, and Director of the University of Navarre’s Environmental Journalism Workshop, and is also closely involved with the Andalusian Plan for the Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge coordinated by Granada Science Park.
He has worked tirelessly to inform and enlighten on nature and the environment through his interventions in audiovisual (TV2, Canal Sur) and print media (‘El País Andalucía’), by coordinating conferences and workshops, organising educational programmes for school-age children, and training the journalists of the future at Spanish and foreign universities. He has combined these dissemination labours with an intense creative activity on different supports, alternating the roles of screenwriter and director.
In 1989 he joined the News Service of Andalusian Radio & Television (RTVA), where he authored some 3,000 environmental reports. He then founded the Environment News Desk at Canal Sur Televisión and headed this section until 1998, when he went on to direct and present ‘Espacio Protegido’, a weekly environmental news programme that has run for more than 300 episodes. Besides his TV work, he has directed film documentaries in Spain, Asia and Latin America dealing mainly with biodiversity conservation projects, some of which have merited awards from the Ronda Scientific Film Festival, the Doñana 21 Foundation and the TeleNatura Festival. Editor since 1992 of the veteran ‘Crónica Verde’ environment supplement, published weekly in the Andalusian edition of national newspaper ‘El País’, he has also contributed over 500 articles to its pages. In all, more than 2,000 articles in the regional and national press have appeared under his by-line, and he is a regular contributor to environment magazines, as well as general information weeklies. Among his book publications are various compilations of his press reports, and the only fully comprehensive guide to Andalusian protected natural spaces: ‘Espacios Naturales de Andalucía’.
A keen science watcher, he works in close liaison with the research community, and broke new ground in Spain by informing on conservation issues from a public platform, the Andalusian Environment Agency.