Giving Climate the Coverage It Deserves

The 2022 CCNow Journalism Award Winners highlight the best coverage on the global climate beat--and the enormity of the challenge ahead.

Award winner in the photography category, Emily Garthwaite, in Iran.

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This week’s introduction is written by Columbia Journalism Review’s editor and publisher Kyle Pope, who chaired the judging of the 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards. 

Melting ice in Greenland swamping South Carolina. Deadly heat scorching low-wage workers in Los Angeles. Rising seas driving Senegalese to migrate to Europe and coastal Bangladeshis to flee inland to overcrowded cities.

The climate emergency is unfolding in our own backyards and around the world — and it is generating some astonishing journalism.

Three years ago, Covering Climate Now was founded by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation to encourage better coverage of the climate crisis. Last year the Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards were launched as a showcase for journalists producing the very best work. More and more journalists and newsrooms are now reporting the climate story — both the heartbreaking realities and the common sense solutions — and sharing their findings with people and policymakers who can drive change.

The 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Award winners, announced yesterday, highlight the success of journalists reporting on climate around the globe and the enormity of the story that lies before us.

Winners of the 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards include journalists at the Guardian, Agence-France Presse, Al Jazeera English, PBS, HBO Max, the Post and Courier, the Los Angeles Times, and WGBH-PRX. Justin Worland, senior correspondent for TIME, was named Climate Journalist of the Year. (Check out Worland’s interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer here.) A total of 23 winners were selected from more than 900 entries submitted from 65 countries, a 50% increase over last year’s awards.

The winning reporters, producers, photographers, and editors found ways to tell a climate story that is growing, in scale and urgency, by the day. Their work highlights the sober task journalism faces if it has any hope of giving this sprawling story the coverage it deserves: No corner of the planet is untouched, which means no newsroom on earth can afford to ignore it.

“Better news coverage is an essential climate solution, a catalyst that makes progress on every part of the problem — from politics to business, art to activism, and lifestyle change to systems change — more likely,” said Mark Hertsgaard, the executive director of Covering Climate Now.

From its inception, Covering Climate Now has been driven by the desire to match the enormity of the climate story with the journalistic effort needed to chronicle it. With every month that has passed, the story has gotten bigger. Our job is to grow our commitment in response.

Winners of this year’s awards will be featured in a one-hour TV special hosted by Al Roker, co-host of NBC News’ TODAY, and Savannah Sellers, host of NBC’s Stay Tuned and NBC News NOW anchor. It will air on October 25, 2022, on the WORLD Channel.


Talking Shop. Join us June 22, at 12 pm US Eastern Time for a discussion on how to report on climate connections to Food & Water, the theme of CCNow’s joint week of coverage June 27 to July 1. Panelists include Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, freelance journalist in Mumbai, India; Sonalie Figuerias, editor-in-chief of Green Queen Media in Hong Kong; and Barbara Moran, environment correspondent at WBUR in Boston. RSVP. 

Reminder. The Nation and a soon-to-be-announced new CCNow partner talked with climate activists Kumi Naidoo and Luisa Neubauer about what their movement needs to do now to defuse the climate emergency.  Their answers may surprise you. CCNow partners are invited to co-publish Bill McKibben’s article on the interview for The Nation via the CCNow Sharing Library tomorrow, along with a text and audio package from the new partner.


Wild weather. It’s not even summer, but just about every region of the US is already enduring extreme weather, including fires, floods, tornadoes, and excessive heat, with more than 120 million Americans under some type of heat alert. By Matthew Cappucci and Jason Samenow at the Washington Post…

Renewables for the win. Solar and wind power has “bailed out” Texas as it faces record demand for electricity amid the heat. During peak demand on Sunday, renewable energy sources produced close to 40% of electricity needed, sparing people “a lot of heartache and a lot of money,” according to energy expert Michael Webber.  By Ella Nilsen at CNN…

Road map. A new report finds that US president Joe Biden’s climate goals are at odds with a new five-year plan for fossil fuel leasing programs in federal waters. The Evergreen Action and Earthjustice report offers a plan for reforming the programs to align with Biden’s climate and environmental justice agenda. From Maxine Joselow at the Washington Post…

(Un)Natural gas boom. Liquid natural gas export terminals in the US are expanding, with 25 active projects set to emit over 90 million tons of greenhouse  gasses per year — the equivalent of 20 coal plants. Legislators cite the Ukraine war to justify the expansion, though it would be years before the projects could boost supply or lower prices. From Eve Andrews at Grist…

Culture wars. The climate emergency is being “dragged” into “culture wars” issues — abortion, LGBTQ+ rights, vaccines — causing “delay, distraction and misinformation” to hinder rapid action. From Matthew Taylor at the Guardian…

Dancing for Change


The following stories deserve special consideration for republication by CCNow partners:

For partner outlets: The full list of stories available for republication and instructions for republishing can be found in our Sharing Library. To submit stories for sharing, please use this form.


Happening soon. Today at noon US Eastern Time, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council are holding a press briefing on regenerative agriculture. RSVP.

Celebrate. CCNow partner The Revelator has a list of environment-related holidays, awareness days, and anniversaries. Check it out here.

Jobs. Grist is hiring a staff writer. States Newsroom is hiring an energy & environment reporter for the Virginia Mercury. Climate One is recruiting a managing director.

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