Kyle Pope, a co-founder of the global journalism collaboration Covering Climate Now, is joining CCNow’s expanding leadership team as the accelerating urgency of the climate crisis demands that news media everywhere improve their coverage of the defining story of our time.
CCNow, founded in 2019, partners with more than 600 news outlets reaching a total audience of over 2 billion people. Organized by journalists, for journalists, CCNow believes that more and better news coverage is itself an essential climate solution.
Pope, who has served as editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review since 2016, will step into his new role at CCNow as Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives on October 16, 2023. Pope helped launch CCNow four years ago with co-founder Mark Hertsgaard, a globally acclaimed climate journalist and author and the environment correspondent for The Nation magazine. Hertsgaard has been executive director of CCNow since its inception, joined in 2020 by Judy Doctoroff, an award-winning executive producer, as managing director.
“Kyle is one of the most creative, principled, and far-sighted journalists I’ve ever worked with,” Hertsgaard said. “Without his wisdom, humor, and problem-solving skills, CCNow would not have achieved so much, so fast. Bringing him on staff will enable CCNow to be of even greater service to fellow journalists everywhere as we all work to tell the climate story with the urgency and impact this historical moment calls for.”
The worsening climate crisis, as evidenced by this year’s relentless series of extreme weather events, compelled Pope to make climate his full-time job, he said, adding, “This is the moment for newsrooms worldwide to commit to giving the climate crisis the coverage it demands. There’s no time to waste, and I look forward to devoting all of my energies to helping make that happen.”
During Pope’s seven-year tenure at CJR, the publication solidified its standing as the world’s leading source of media news and analysis, and won multiple industry awards. Before joining Columbia, Pope was a senior editor at The Wall Street Journal, Conde Nast, and The New York Observer. He has served as a judge for the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Magazine Awards, and has testified before the US Congress’s House Judiciary Committee on threats to the press.
At CCNow, Pope has served as board chair as well as chair of the Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards, now in its third year. During the recent Climate Week NYC, CCNow announced the winners of the 2023 awards, selected by over 100 distinguished journalists on a world-wide jury. That week, CCNow also hosted a conference at Columbia Journalism School with several partners, where hundreds of climate journalists from around the world shared best practices and developed plans to help newsrooms everywhere do better coverage of the climate emergency and its solutions.
Pope’s move to CCNow comes as the organization is rapidly growing to partner with newsrooms around the world to prioritize climate coverage, to equip local journalists and meteorologists with the confidence to make the climate connection in weather reports, and to train journalists to report on climate injustice and solutions to the accelerating crisis.
CCNow also welcomes three new team members to support its expanded newsroom training and partner engagement. Santiago Sáez will serve as director of training; Elena González, who joins as local television engagement manager to fortify the organization’s growing connections with local media outlets, and Maya L. Kapoor, who joins as engagement manager, will work under the leadership of CCNow’s director of engagement, Mekdela Maskal. Anna Hiatt, who joined CCNow in 2021, continues as executive editor, working to create and deliver tools of the highest caliber for journalists and newsrooms everywhere. Andrew McCormick, deputy director at CCNow, moves into an expanded role managing special projects.