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Climate Alarmists, News Media Forge A Hefty Alliance

Jennifer Harper - The Washington Times

Those who believe the world is in imminent peril due to climate change say the news media is failing to report on this belief, and those alarmists are pushing back.

The Nation and the Columbia Journalism Review have banded together to found “Covering Climate Now,” a new project supported by some 250 news organizations who vow to “strengthen the media’s focus on the climate crisis” and produce a week’s worth of stories to underscore that view.

Point men Mark Hertsgaard, environmental correspondent for The Nation, and Kyle Pope, editor of Columbia’s University media-centric publication, say these participating news organizations have a combined audience of over 1 billion people.

“The media’s minimization of the looming disaster is one of our great journalistic failures,” the pair advise.

They believe the press has sidelined climate stories because they are “too political or too depressing”; they say the press has been “spun by the fossil fuel industry” and that reporters quote both scientists and “paid corporate mouthpieces” when it comes to climate matters.

“It is heartening, then, to report that the press may at last be waking up to the defining story of our time. We believe that Covering Climate Now is the biggest effort ever undertaken to organize the world’s press around a single topic,” the two organizers say.

What’s a good example of such journalism? Mr. Hertsgaard and Mr. Pope cite a recent story in The Nation by longtime broadcast commentator Bill Moyers titled “What if Reporters Covered the Climate Crisis Like Edward R. Murrow Covered the Start of World War II?”

Perhaps straight facts from both sides of the argument would be helpful to the coverage here, but that is another story.

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