We Hate to Make This About Us But There is Something in it For You
Planet Friendly News is a partner in a global media collaboration to dramatically ramp up coverage of the climate crisis. Sixty media organizations, from the US and the UK, to Japan and New Zealand, have agreed to increase coverage and focus stories about the climate crisis in the lead up to the UN’s landmark Climate Action Summit on September 23 in New York City.
The initiative, called Covering Climate Now, is designed to improve the quality and quantity of media coverage of the climate crisis and to show how it affects individuals here and now. Record setting heat waves in Europe, and recently in the US, demonstrate that global heating is not some remote problem that will happen to others, somewhere else, in the future. It is affecting billions of people everywhere right now.
Co-founded by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, with The Guardian as lead partner, the project is designed to help media address this complicated, multi-dimensional issue and shatter what the project founders called “the climate silence” of many major media outlets. Last October, when the UN IPCC released its groundbreaking report saying we had just 12 years to slow down global heating, 28 of 50 of the largest newspapers in the US did not cover the story. (See our story in the June newsletter and our blogs on June 1st and June 29th.)
The number of media partners is growing everyday and includes organizations, large and small, around the globe ranging from major US newspapers and TV outlets (e.g. CBS News) to online outlets such as HuffPost and Vox. Other partners include prestigious journals such as Nature, the Harvard Business Review and The Lancet as well as magazines such as Scientific American, Maclean’s and Newsweek Japan. You can see a complete list of the media involved at https://www.cjr.org/covering_climate_now/
So, where is the part about there being something in it for our readers? Right here. Media participants in Covering Climate Now have agreed to share content in the week of focused coverage leading up to September’s Summit — meaning we’ll be able to bring you even more insightful stories on the climate challenge and what we can do about it.
The project is designed to improve public understanding of the issues related to the climate crisis and drive informed debate on the options for addressing this existential threat. It will encourage media to focus on the opportunities and solutions, not just on the science-based, dire predictions of our future if we do not change course. All of us are citizens, consumers and voters — a more informed public will help individuals make different choices about their carbon footprint and drive governments, businesses and other major institutions to deal with the climate crisis now and not kick the can down the road again.
Let the real work begin.