The Future is Non-Profit Science and Enviro Journalism
On last week's announcement that CNN is shifting the focus and form of its science coverage, I am going to be posting what is a very different interpretation than the predictable laments from various bloggers. But, for now, the CNN announcement also directs attention towards what I believe is the future of science and environmental journalism. As I wrote last February and have discussed at various venues:
The future will be online, in film, and/or multi-media, merging reporting with synthesis, analysis, personal narrative, and opinion. The goals will be to inform but also to persuade and to mobilize. And most importantly, it will be non-profit, sponsored by universities, museums, think tanks, foundations, professional societies such as AAAS, or government affiliated organizations such as NSF or the National Academies.
On that note, CJR's Curtis Brainard provides details today on Climate Central, the recently launched news collaboration between journalists and scientists, sponsored by Princeton University. An objective of the initiative is to syndicate stories to local TV news outlets, an important way to broaden the audience for climate change.
As I suggest in a quote from the Brainard article, we should think of non-profit media as an integral part of the infrastructure that local communities need to adapt to climate change. A community without a quality source of climate coverage--packaged in a way that is accessible and relevant to most members of that community--will be ill prepared to deal with climate change moving forward.
Just as importantly, new media initiatives on climate change should not be a guessing game, they need to be based on research about what information the broader public needs about the issue and how that information can be structured in a way that is understandable, interesting, and personally meaningful.
I will have more on this topic in the upcoming post analyzing CNN's shift in form and focus for its science coverage. For New York-area readers, this is likely to be a topic of discussion at a panel I will be on in February at the American Museum of Natural History. Details below.
Reporting on Climate Change: The Media and Public Understanding
* Tuesday, February 10
* 6:30 pm
* Kaufmann Theater, first floor
* $15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)
* Code: EL021009
Join veteran environmental journalists Bud Ward, The Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media; Bill Blakemore, ABC News; Diane Hawkins-Cox, CNN; and Andrew Revkin, The New York Times; along with Matthew Nisbet, American University School of Communication, for this timely discussion on the roles of journalism and new media in the reporting of climate change. The shaping and reporting of scientific information is critical to our understanding global warming and its management. The program will be introduced by Michael Novacek, Senior VP and Provost of Science, AMNH.
Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.
- During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
- If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
- Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.
- SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
- A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
- A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
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