This week, close to 100 fellow journalists “talked shop” at a Covering Climate Now webinar, asking questions, brainstorming ideas and making new connections as we adjust to reporting on the climate crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mark Hertsgaard, executive director of CCNow and environment correspondent for The Nation, led the discussion, with panelists: Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review; Erin McGarry, senior producer at NBC News Climate Unit; Eliza Barclay, science and health editor at Vox; and Justin Worland, energy and environment writer at Time.
Topics included how to convince editors to cover climate stories when newsrooms are focused on the pandemic, ways to report remotely during the crisis, and story angles that will likely resonate with readers and viewers right now. Suggestions included reporting on: the scientific connections between the coronavirus pandemic and climate change; opportunities for green development that could come from the coronavirus stimulus packages; keeping our families safe and healthy; and emergency preparedness.
You can watch a recording of the Talking Shop webinar, and see the questions, suggestions and comments included in the chat. Here are some background resources suggested by participants and CCNow staff to help journalists in their reporting:
- Covering Climate in the Age of Coronavirus, – A Society for Environmental Journalists webinar examines the similarities and differences of reporting the two crises. Also by SEJ, Days of Social Distancing, Getting the Goods…Virtually, offers “immersive-phoner” tips for virtual reporting.
- Communicating Climate Change During the Coronavirus Crisis – Climate Outreach looks at the evidence behind effective communication in a time of public crisis.
- Coronavirus, Climate Change and the Environment – Aaron Berstein, Director of Harvard’s C-CHANGE, answers the most common questions on coronavirus and the environment.
- Reporting on Disasters during COVID-19 – Climate Central provides ready-to-use graphics on climate and coronavirus reporting resources.
- The Debunking Handbook – Skeptical Science offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths.
- A Statistically Representative Climate Change Debate – John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, takes the media to task for creating a false balance in climate reporting in a crowd-favorite classic. Just for fun.
We concluded by reminding everyone that this Sunday, April 19, marks the beginning of CCNow’s second week of joint climate coverage, this time focusing on Climate Solutions around the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. CCNow partners are sharing an abundance of ready-to-run solutions stories from April 19 through April 26, including terrific pieces from The Guardian, Reuters, CBS News, The Times of India, The Nation, Columbia Journalism Review, HuffPost, Asahi Shimbun, and many more. Follow along on twitter as we highlight solution stories throughout the week.