Researcher: More Inexpert Climate Change Reporting Required

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Quantity over quality: According to University of Gothenburg Assistant Researcher Áine Kelly-Costello, climate reporting can no longer be left to people who have made an effort to understand the subject.

Why climate change must stay on the news agenda beyond global summits

December 9, 2021 6.21am AEDT

Áine Kelly-Costello
University of Gothenburg

During last month’s COP26 summit, climate change was a ubiquitous story. News hooks abounded, from unpacking the flurry of non-binding pledges to reporting on the failure of rich nations to honour demands of countries at the frontline, criticising the summit as the “most exclusionary COP ever”.

Even in today’s crowded information landscape, mainstream news media continue to play an important role in shaping how we understand and act onclimate change.

Based on research interviews with climate reporters, I argue the main stories are about climate breakdown and climate justice, and entire newsrooms, not just science and environment specialists, need to step up to demonstrate that understanding. 

This needs to be reflected in the quantity and quality of climate coverage, well beyond the brief window of COP summits.

While specialist expertise does matter, the lion’s share of climate coverage can no longer be left to a handful of science and environment reporters.

Read more:

What can I say – its difficult to imagine how already dismal mainstream media climate coverage could get even worse, but if news rooms follow Áine‘s advice, I’m sure they’ll manage somehow.

via Watts Up With That?

December 11, 2021 at 04:07AM

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