Stand by for Lefty media to turn the Climate Catastrophe dial to Eleven!
Columbia Journalism Review, part of the US Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is behind a plan to saturate us with alarmist coverage during the week 16 to 23 September.
I think seeding, resourcing and promoting so-called 'news' stories - months in advance - so as to create the appearance of an unfolding catastrophe goes against everything real journalism should stand for. Rather than participating, news media should be doing all it can to expose this blatant activism - and media organisations who buy into it should be loudly discredited.
Here's an extract from Columbia's website.
A focused week of coverage
We’ll work to organize as much of the news media as possible—large and small, national and local—to commit to one week of focused coverage of climate change this September. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, is convening a summit in New York on September 23, where nations are urged to show how they will limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We propose a week of concentrated climate coverage in the lead-up to the UN summit, beginning September 16.
We believe that every news organization in America, and many around the world, can play a part. Sometimes that will mean committing your newsroom to important and high-impact stories. Other times it will mean sharing your content, engaging your community, or adding a few lines of climate information to stories that wouldn’t otherwise have them. The answer lies in your creativity and participation.
We can only do these things if a critical mass of journalists and news outlets come together to talk about how to make them happen, and if our work is informed by engagement with everyone who cares about this problem.
That’s where you come in. How this conversation unfolds and ultimately affects overall media coverage of the climate crisis depends on who gets involved and how well we all rise to the challenge.
Ongoing newsroom support
We see the week of focused coverage not as an end in itself, but as the beginning of the work to transform how newsrooms conceive of their climate coverage.
To help them in that effort, we will provide substantial resource guides for journalists, tutorials, source lists, and web briefings; we’ll gather the best of climate coverage in an online blog, and provide commentary on how other reporters can replicate it; and we will increase our own reporting on how news outlets are covering the climate crisis, highlighting what is working and calling out what isn’t.
In the most dramatic cases, we’ll deploy Rapid Response Teams to newsrooms tasked with covering extreme weather or disaster in their own backyards. In those cases, we’ll assist newsrooms, either in person or remotely, with additional reporting help as well as whatever scientific or other resources are needed for them to fully tell their story.
But there's more! Here's an email Columbia has sent to newsrooms everywhere - you can imagine the glee accompanying the forwards, plans and proposals at the ABC!
We're writing from Covering Climate Now, a new project of the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation aimed at dramatically improving journalism’s coverage of climate change. We invite you to join us.
The science is beyond clear: humanity faces an emergency situation. Rising sea levels and record heat waves, wildfires, and floods are unleashing devastation worldwide, and much more is in the pipeline. We have 12 years to radically change course, UN scientists warned last October, or face catastrophe.
As journalists, we have a professional responsibility to report on the urgency of this moment. Despite good coverage by some news outlets, climate silence still reigns in much of the media. For example, only 27 percent of Americans knew in election year 2016 that virtually all scientists agreed that climate change is human-caused, happening now and very dangerous.
Previous reasons for underplaying the climate story—fears of alienating audiences, losing money, or appearing partisan—no longer hold. Most people under age 40 care intensely about climate change, irrespective of their political outlook—even Republicans and independents want action, while Democrats call it their number one concern. That may help explain why The Guardian, our first partner at Covering Climate Now, has found that its extensive climate and environment coverage is making, not losing, money.
We describe our plans for Covering Climate Now in this FAQ, which links to the April 30 conference at the Columbia Journalism School that launched this project and where iconic TV newsman Bill Moyers announced a $1 million pledge from the Schumann Media Center to fund the first year of our work.
Our ask of you is simple: commit to a week of focused climate coverage this September. We are organizing news outlets across the US and abroad—online and print, TV and audio, large and small—to run seven days of climate stories from September 16 through the climate summit UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hosts in New York September 23. The stories you run are up to you, though we can offer ideas and background information and connect outlets looking for content with content providers looking for outlets.
We'd be happy to schedule a phone call to discuss this further. Thanks for considering, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
This is blatant activism masquerading as news. Columbia's material also contains plenty of false and easily disproven assertions.
For a reasoned, scientific debunking of many of the claims Columbia makes go to Jo Nova. And remember this story when you're watching the "news" in a few weeks.