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Guardian backs initiative to 'break silence' in media coverage of climate change

The Guardian is one of a handful of UK newsbrands that has signed up to a US-led initiative aiming to improve media coverage of climate change.

The Covering Climate Now project aims to “break the climate silence” that it claims “has long prevailed within too much of the news media”.

It wants to start a conversation among journalists about how all news outlets “can do justice to the defining story of our time”.

The project has been co-founded by weekly US news magazine The Nation and US news industry title the Columbia Journalism Review, in partnership with The Guardian.

A total of 49 print and online newsbrands have signed up worldwide, including Huffpost, The Conversation and The Lancet in the UK.

No UK broadcasters have put their name to the project, but Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson has signed up as an independent journalist.

In a joint statement, CJR editor Kyle Pope and Nation editor Mark Hertsgaard said:  “We see Covering Climate Now as a fulfillment of journalism’s most sacred responsibilities, which are to inform people and foster constructive debate about common challenges and opportunities. Arguably, no problem in today’s world is more challenging, or offers brighter opportunities…

“To elevate climate coverage is no more of a value judgment than it is to sideline such coverage. For many years now, most of the news media, at least in the US, has done the latter.”

Press Gazette reported this week that more than 100 employees at Radio Times publisher Immediate Media have demanded their bosses stop carrying ads from oil and gas companies amid concern over the “growing climate crisis”.

Picture: Graeme Robertson

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4 thoughts on “Guardian backs initiative to 'break silence' in media coverage of climate change”

  1. As with most issues, problems and solutions have been clearly laid out for years. You have to dig to find them as they usually run counter to populist thought. Those involved with this initiative are probably the least qualified to either inform or instigate honest debate as self interest invariably dominates. When revenue, reputation or legal obligations play a part, facts are akin to cards in a game of poker. The initiative will benefit some but at the expense of science and true understanding.

  2. So The Guardian wants to help break the “silence” about climate change. Whenever I hear that The Guardian wants to break the silence about an issue it reminds me of the silence around the issue of gangs of Muslim men raping underage white girls in provincial towns and cities.

    So-called “grooming gangs” have been raping girls for over twenty years. National government has known about this for nearly twenty years. The Guardian newspaper was told about this over fifteen years ago by the then Keighley MP Ann Cryer but it didn’t want to give the issue much coverage for fear of helping racists such as Nick Griffin, the then BNP leader who was unsuccessfully prosecuted for inciting racial hatred in speeches in which he referred to the issue. Years later the journalism of Andrew Norfolk of The Times helped to raise the issue which resulted in the Jay report which found that 1400 children from Rotherham had been sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013. A few of the rapists in Rotherham have been convicted and similar enquiries and criminal trials elsewhere have proved that for over two decades gangs of Muslim men have been raping underage white girls in provincial towns and cities and been doing so under the noses of people working in social services, state education, the NHS and the police and a New Labour government that promised to be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”.

    The Guardian didn’t want you to know about or talk about gangs of Muslim men raping underage white girls or to believe that it was happening. Could it have anything to do with the fact that the New Labour government paid The Guardian millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to advertise jobs in social service departments, state education, the NHS and the police? Uncovering the “grooming gang” scandal would have endangered the New Labour goose that laid golden eggs for The Guardian and put some of its readers at risk of being sacked for turning a blind eye to the rape of underage girls on an industrial scale so The Guardian didn’t try to uncover it. The Guardian wants to break the silence about climate change but when it comes to grooming gangs The Guardian and New Labour wanted silence.

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