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Led by The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), more than 250 news outlets from across the U.S. and around the globe will be part of a concerted push this week of increasing their climate news coverage – dubbed “Covering Climate Now” — with the goal of “strengthening the media’s focus on the climate crisis.” Altogether, the news outlets have an audience of more than 1 billion people worldwide. And here is the biggest news of all — Variety reports — and we can confirm that “NBC News has launched a new “climate unit” that will present reports throughout this week, says Janelle Rodriguez, the NBC News senior vice president who will oversee it.”
Why This Matters: YESSSSS! Let’s start with a round of applause! This is huge progress. The first step in any problem-solving exercise is honing in on the problem itself. In this case, one of the many reasons why we as a society have not taken sufficient action sooner is that much of the public was not aware of the gravity of the situation with respect to our warming planet until recently. “The media’s minimization of the looming disaster is one of our great journalistic failures,” Nation reporter Mark Hertsgaard and CJR Editor Kyle Pope said in A New Beginning for Climate Reporting. The #CoveringClimateNow program is great and hopefully, only the beginning of a more intense media focus on climate change and it is happening not a minute too soon.
Why Has It Taken So Long?
There has been a major misperception in newsrooms around the country that reporting the truth about climate change would be perceived as “activism,” according to Hertsgaard and Pope. In addition, there has been a sense among journalists that it is too late anyway, and that such a depressing subject might make readers tune out. The goal of the project is to overcome these roadblocks that have stood in the way of more and better coverage of climate change.
The week of climate focus by the 250 organizations (listed here) will continue through Monday, September 23rd. Of course Our Daily Planet will continue its coverage for as long as there are Friends of the Planet that will read us!
And check out the first reporting from that new NBC News climate unit below.
by Monica Medina and Miro Korenha, co-founders and publishers of Our Daily Planet Monica: When I think back on 2019, I am flooded with conflicting emotions. At a personal level, I am so lucky to have a loving group of friends and family who I get to see often (enough), and I am fortunate […]
Resembling fearless and determined Jedi warriors, the young participants at the UN Climate Conference on Wednesday took over the meeting briefly, flooding the COP stage, to deliver a message about the need for the Parties to have a greater sense of urgency in their work to reach consensus on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
One of the major ways that this year’s UN Climate meeting is greatly different from previous ones is its recognition of oceans as a major part of the climate problems (with support from the findings of the IPCC’s recent Oceans and Cryosphere report) and also its solutions. Chile’s Foreign Minister, Teodoro Ribera Neumann explained today that Chile elevated ocean issues because they are integral to both climate change and to his country.
Why This Matters: The UN climate meetings in the past had failed to take oceans into account when looking at how to address climate change and that, frankly, was a major oversight.