This week, DigBoston is joining fellow news outlets around the globe in publishing a special issue on the climate crisis now threatening human civilization—and perhaps the entire biosphere, including our species—with destruction over the coming decades.
The initiative is called Covering Climate Now and is taking place over the week leading up to the Sept 23 United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City and a concurrent series of international grassroots environmental actions called the Global Climate Strike starting on Sept 20. Including the Boston Climate Strike taking place that day starting 11:30 am at Boston City Hall Plaza—website: masspeaceaction.org/event/boston-climate-strike/.
The following is a statement by Mark Hertsgaard of The Nation explaining the background of the effort. Read on for more information:
MORE THAN 170 NEWS OUTLETS from around the world have now signed up for Covering Climate Now, a project co-founded by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation aimed at strengthening the media’s focus on the climate crisis.
All outlets have committed to running a week’s worth of climate coverage in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Sept. 23. At that meeting, the world’s governments will submit plans to meet the Paris Agreement’s pledge to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.
“The need for solid climate coverage has never been greater,” said Kyle Pope, CJR’s editor and publisher. “We’re proud that so many organizations from across the US and around the world have joined with Covering Climate Now to do our duty as journalists—to report this hugely important story.”
Covering Climate Now now ranks as one of the most ambitious efforts ever to organize the world’s media around a single coverage topic. In addition to The Guardian—the lead media partner in Covering Climate Now—CJR and The Nation are joined by major newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasters, and global news and photo agencies in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Among the outlets represented are: Bloomberg; CBS News; El País; the Asahi Shimbun; La Repubblica; The Times of India; Getty Images; Agence France-Presse; national public TV broadcasters in Italy, Sweden, and the United States; most of the biggest public radio stations in the US; scholarly journals such as Nature, Science, and the Harvard Business Review; and publications such as Vanity Fair, HuffPost, The National Observer, and The Daily Beast. Covering Climate Now also includes a wide array of local news outlets and non-profit websites reporting from Rhode Island, Nevada, Turkey, Togo, and dozens of places in between.
“Collaboration with like-minded colleagues makes both journalistic and business sense in today’s media environment, and The Nation is happy to encourage such collaboration and proud to share our climate coverage as part of this exciting initiative,” said Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation.
All of the news outlets participating will decide for themselves how many climate stories to run during the September week of coverage, and what those stories say. The only requirement is that the participating outlets make a good faith effort to run as much high-quality climate coverage as they can—and thereby signal to their audiences the paramount importance of the climate story.
Some of the outlets participating in Covering Climate Now will share their climate coverage with one another, though this is by no means obligatory. Many outlets will publish or broadcast only stories they themselves produce. This decision is entirely up to each participating outlet.
A full list of participating outlets can be found at the website of the Columbia Journalism Review in an Aug 28 article “Covering Climate Now signs on over 170 news outlets.” As of this week, there are over 250 news outlets participating.
This article is part of the Special Climate Crisis Issue of DigBoston (9/19/2019, Vol. 21, Iss. 38) produced in cooperation with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism as part of the global Covering Climate Now initiative organized by The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review.