Climate change continues to prove that it is a pressing issue of our time: and one that is growing. That’s why, for me, the Climate Matters session was arguably one of the most important sessions at this years EIJ.
The session was led by Bernadette Woods Placky, the Chief Meteorologist and Climate Matters Director at Climate Central and Mike Goldrick, News Director at WRC-TV NBCUniversal Media. The session encouraged journalists not to be afraid of pushback from reporting on the subject. Placky and Goldrick reminded us that there are endless story ideas that can fall under the climate change story umbrella because of course, climate change is much more than just warmer weather. It’s always helpful to remind audiences of this so they can begin to understand the broader impacts of climate change, instead of seeing it as a distanced problem.
Journalists communicating with meterologists can also enhance climate reporting because simple explanatory reporting is often helpful when trying to reach broader audiences, or those who have misled ideas about climate change.
Placky and Goldrick said focusing on the science and the facts when reporting on climate change is critical, and the more a climate story can be localized, the more it will resinate with viewers and readers.
There are never a shortage of story ideas for newsrooms expanding their climate coverage. Placky said keeping an eye out for patterns in things that are above the normal, or changes in allergy seasons for example, are effective ways to find new story angles.
Posted by: Erica Carbajal-SPJ DePaul President