Yale Climate Media Forum (01/08 Update)

Thank you for visiting The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media.

Your visiting us this early in the 2008 New Year means you come as we celebrate a three-month birthday. We launched this site on October 1, 2007.

Remembering things we, at three months of age, were doing provides some comfort as we pass this first quarterly threshold.

Off to a pretty good start (and beginning to sleep through the nights). But miles and miles to go.

We can stipulate at this point that the job of facilitating serious communications between the climate science and policy communities and the news media remains a work in progress.

It’s not like we didn’t expect it to be that way. Carbon sequestration, as the saying goes, wasn’t built in a day.

The good news here is that the importance of that undertaking is recognized as a worthwhile and important one. Even more so with each passing day: The need, like CO2 ppms in the atmosphere, keeps steadily increasing.

Good journalism on an issue as important as climate change needs a sound foundation both within and beyond the newsroom. Good journalists covering such an issue can’t do the job demanded of them on their own and without a broad stable of fundamental journalism work practices and principles. But for an issue such as climate change – query whether there in fact are other issues quite like this one – more is needed, and from beyond the traditional newsroom.

Outside experts from across the spectrum of the relevant science, policy, energy, health, and economic communities must play key supporting roles. Some must do so as on-air or on-the-record authoritative news sources. Others may best be behind-the-scene fact-checkers, verifiers, confirmers or contesters.

Both those roles are critical in moving toward a more informed and more involved citizenry when it comes to issues of climate change.

One small but, we think, essential link in the chain. That’s how we see The Yale Forum as part of this science/policy/health/economics/morals climate change maze. At the three-month point, after all, who among us was fully up and running?

We too are developing, and maturing, and we too have big plans for a big future. Our introduction of an RSS feed, responding to a frequent suggestion from visitors, is one small step. You’ll be seeing others. We invite your active and ongoing involvement in this online publishing venture, so do stay tuned.

At the three-month stage it’s not too late to climb aboard. But then again, given the scope of the challenges and opportunities associated with climate change, it’s never too early.

Bud Ward, Editor

Bud Ward

Bud Ward is editor of Yale Climate Connections. (E-mail: bud@yaleclimateconnections.org).
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