Climate Change

31 Jul 2019

More Than 60 News Media Outlets have Pledged to Dedicate a Special Week of Coverage to the Climate

31 Jul 2019  by Michael Holder   

More than 60 news media outlets from around the world, including The Guardian, US TV broadcaster CBS News and New York City's public radio station WNYC, have pledged to dedicate a special week of coverage to the global climate crisis in a bid to "do justice to the defining story of our time".

A range of local, regional, and national outlets across television, radio, print, and online media have so far signed up to the Covering Climate Now pledge, which aims to spark conversations among journalists about how to improve climate news coverage.

The promised week-long specials will coincide with the crucial UN summit in September, where countries are expected to announce a wave of new climate action pledges.

Described as a "unique media collaboration", the move marks the first action from Covering Climate Now, an initiative co-founded by US publications The Nation and Columbia Journalism Review in collaboration with British newspaper The Guardian

Japan's Asahi Shimbun and Italy's la Repubblica national newspapers are among those to sign up, along with a raft of other outlets around the world such as The Huffington Post, South African TV news show Politically Aweh, and Chilean daily newspaper LA Tercera.

Individual journalists such as Bill McKibben, Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson, Brazil's Isabel Seta, and Nivedita Khandekar in India have also signed the pledge.

"We're not here to tell people what to write or broadcast," a statement posted onColombia Journalism Review states. "All that's required is for each outlet to make a good faith effort to increase the amount and the visibility of its climate coverage - to make it clear to their audiences that climate change is not just one more story but the overriding story of our time. The point is to give the climate story the attention and prominence that scientists have long said it demands so that the public and policymakers can make wise choices. Can we, in other words, tell the story so people get it?"

The project, which announced its initial list of 60 global signatories on Friday, is inviting further media organisations to join and focus their coverage around climate change for a week starting on September 16 and culminating on the September 23rd, when the UN Climate Action Summit is set to take place in New York City.

Hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the summit is expected to see a number of announcements from national governments and global businesses towards increasing emissions-reduction ambitions ahead of the next stage of COP25 Paris Agreement negotiations in December.

Guterres has called on governments to submit a "brief summary or an indication" of the climate plans they are expected to bring to the summit by August 7, and has suggested that only figures from countries which have delivered the boldest climate plans will be able to address the Summit's plenary session.

More News