Romm, Climate Progress: More Original and Investigative Reporting

A major ‘liberal’ voice on climate change issues attempts to do the kind of climate journalism long missing in many mainstream media outlets. Long hypercritical of reporting on climate, blogger Joe Romm and his colleagues now will be doing their own.

More bloggers, more original reporting on national and local climate impacts and politics, and investigative reporting are in the works at the Climate Progress website prolific blogger Joe Romm runs for the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Romm July 27 said the new effort, known for some time to be in the works, will launch July 29. Romm and his site long have been keenly critical of the absence of quality reporting on climate change from top news organizations, and he has spared nothing in regularly blasting The New York Times and a number of its reporters and editors for misplaying or flat-out ignoring what he often has described as “the story of the century.”

Former Clinton administration top advisor John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress and its Action Fund, was quoted by Romm as saying “we can’t afford to miss out on news that is so vital to our survival.”

“If we don’t do this work, no one else will,” he said, pointing out that climate change reporting by many traditional news organizations “has fallen dramatically over the past few years.” He promised “hard-hitting investigative reporting…[that] leads to action and accountability” along with “cutting-edge environmental coverage.”

While few outright reject Romm’s and Climate Progress’s common lament that mainstream media coverage of climate change issues is woefully inadequate, it remains to be seen whether an organization so clearly seen as determinedly liberal and politically partisan can fill-in where traditional commercial and public media have fallen short. It’s clearly another example where alternative media initiatives are striving, in the face of the widespread reshaping of traditional “mainstream” news organizations, to carry the torch on an issue near and dear to their hearts.

Another interesting development to watch will involve whether the new reporting activities can get beyond the “preaching to the choir” challenges in which audiences seek out only those news and information outlets that reinforce their existing biases and preferences. If Romm and his colleague can get over that hurdle — and perhaps even get broadly distributed news organizations to see them as a news syndicator or wire service rather than as an advocacy effort — their efforts can only help in filling the gaping yawn long characterizing mainstream news organizations’ climate change coverage.

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3 Responses to Romm, Climate Progress: More Original and Investigative Reporting

  1. Paul Quigg says:

    I have been following Joe and his Climate Progress site for at least five years and we have gone round and round when he has responded to my postings. While he occasionally presents a middle of the road analysis it is obviously done reluctantly. Most of the time he is way, way out in left field with 30 foot sea level rise, double digit C warming with all the trimmings. I believe this kind of rhetoric does great harm to his argument and his cause. We will just have to see how his “original reporting” turns out. His site is always good for a chuckle and I enjoy it very much.

  2. My problem as a journalist does not normally stem from the conflicting views about climate change, but from the fact that opinionators like Joe Romm are put forward (or present themselves) as authorities of some sort on the subject.

    Here is our review of his book “Straight Up”, which we published a few years back. It presents Romm in what I believe is a fair and, dare I say, far more “straight up” context than he and his acolytes prefer.