A Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper article portrays the city’s broadcast meteorologists as consisting of a disproportionate number of “on-air personalities who are pushing hard against the prevailing winds of climate science.”
Along with forecasting the weekend weather and providing five-day forecasts, your “local TV meteorologists … also will tell you that human-caused global warming is hogwash,” reporter Michael Scott wrote in the December 3 article. His piece within days had drawn more than 200 often ranting comments on the paper’s website, topping even an article on the Cleveland Browns’ having acquired a new quarterback, “rare for any news story,” Scott notes.
Reporting on climate change clearly held its own in 2008 prize competitions honoring the year’s best journalism.
As has been the case for several years now, more and more entries for environmental journalism prizes dealt specifically or at least significantly with climate change.
It wasn’t so long ago that a number of leading climate scientists felt they needed a “rapid response mechanism” to forestall flawed climate reporting before it took off like a wildfire across the nation’s and world’s news sections. The result was realclimate.org, spearheaded largely by scientists Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt.
Times have changed sufficiently that reporters now have their own brand of rapid response mechanism, throwing cold water on blistering hot, and blisteringly flawed, climate change reporting before it gets much out of the starting gate.
The example du jour is a Thanksgiving week story by the politically well-connected and well-regarded (and Washington-influential) politico.com.
Newly released research on effective messaging to Americans regarding needed climate change actions points to discrete audience segments and urges careful targeting at each of six different group’s concerns, needs, and values.
A Reporter's First-Hand Story
Tom Henry, veteran environmental reporter and columnist for
The (Toledo) Blade, didn’t know just what to expect when he was called into a top editor’s office. The message? He was told to prepare for the assignment of a reporter’s lifetime. Here he tells the story about what led to his outstanding series on climate change in Greenland and its relevance to a Great Lakes region audience.
'What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.'
Lyme disease, dubbed one of the “deadly dozen” by a recent Wildlife Conservation Society report, could skyrocket as global shifts in temperature and precipitation transform ecosystems.
From a public policy standpoint, the situation is compounded by the communications issues complicating it, bringing to mind the well-known quote from the late actor Strother Martin in the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke” — What we’ve got is failure to communicate.
Surprise – that President-Elect Barack Obama is confronting climate change in the midst of deepening global economic woes – and, again, surprise – that he took on climate change directly and firmly weeks before he officially takes office January 20.
Those were the hallmarks of several key news organizations’ reporting on the Obama taped video message November 17 to a climate change meeting of governors in California.