At the last count, more than 460 news and media partners claiming to represent 57 countries and a “reach” of two billion people had signed up to “ten tips of best practice to get the climate story right”.
The “partners” include various universities, newspapers, and non-governmental organisations, but also Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Other signatories are Al Jazeera, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, Scientific American, the Mail and Guardian in South Africa, and Huffington Post.
The “best practice” list is the handiwork of Covering Climate Now (CCN), founded in 2019 by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation, with The Guardian as the main partner. The Guardian has abandoned the term “climate change” for “climate emergency”. CCN seeks to collaborate with journalists in forging “an all newsroom approach to climate reporting”.
What then are the ten tips that will enable journalists to “get the climate story right”?
The first is “to say yes to the science”, which is a “matter of overwhelming global consensus”. Giving platforms to climate scepticism and denialism to “balance” news stories is inaccurate, misleads the public, and is “counterfactual if not rooted in bad faith”.
Second up is that the “climate crisis is a story for every beat”. “Whether you cover business, health, housing, education, food, national security, entertainment, or something else, there is always a strong climate angle to be found”. Emphasise the human-side, along with drama and conflict.