The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, in the Mojave Desert. Photo via Climate Visuals.
Ten years ago, climate journalist Brian Kahn watched coverage of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. At the time, the momentum seemed unstoppable. There were negotiations over a global framework for tackling climate change. Climate scientists’ conclusions in reports leading up to the meeting were stark and urgent. He felt the dam would break, and climate change would be everywhere: in political debate, in bars, at PTA meetings, certainly on the news.
Now he can’t imagine what he was thinking.
Coverage by climate journalists has never spurred a comprehensive social response, nor has it reshaped journalism itself. We now better recognize the difficulties of communicating climate change, but it still gets scant attention and resources in newsrooms. Many outlets still insist on false balance, in which fringe views are presented on a par with the more established scientific consensus.
“The timeframe in which science happens and the timeframe in which news happens are just fundamentally mismatched,” Susan Matthews, Slate’s science editor, says. “That problem is just so much larger when it comes to climate change.”
THE MEDIA TODAY: Covering climate change, now
Climate change is an economic story and a public health story; global warming shapes supply chains, water resources, tech infrastructure, community development and loss, and on and on. Yet climate coverage has historically been relegated to the science and environmental beats, outside the realm of hard news.
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Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/watchdog/climate-change-beats-photos-narrative-capture.php