These reporters are in the advance guard of an army of journalists around the world who are covering what Time magazine has dubbed the “War on Global Warming.” Journalists will play a key role in shaping the information that opinion leaders and the public use to judge the urgency of climate change, what needs to be done about it, when and at what costs. It is a vast, multifaceted story whose complexity does not fit well with journalism’s tendency to shy away from issues with high levels of uncertainty and a time-frame of decades, rather than days or months. [...]
Climate change will require thoughtful leadership and coordination at news organizations. Editors will need to integrate the specialty environment, energy, and science reporters with other beats that have a piece of the story—everything from local and national politics to foreign affairs, business, technology, health, urban affairs, agriculture, transportation, law, architecture, religion, consumer news, gardening, travel, and sports. “News organizations are increasingly asking what other beats are going to be affected by climate,” says veteran environment reporter Bud Ward, who edits a respected online journalism site, The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media. He notes that even Sports Illustrated has tackled climate change and its potential impact on everything from cancelled games to baseball bats. But, Ward worries, “it will be extremely difficult to explain the policy side of the debate” in the months ahead. Unless editors push hard for it, “there’s generally not the time or space for that kind of explanatory coverage.”Some of the suggestions are sensible (not hyping things, not simplistically blaming AGW for everything etc.) but there is also:
Choose your experts carefully. Experts are always a minefield, so the Times’s Revkin has a simple rule: when writing about climate science, seek comments from respected scientific experts who have published in major journals in the field, not the experts offered by various policy think tanks and interest groups with axes to grind.
The era of “equal time” for skeptics who argue that global warming is just a result of natural variation and not human intervention seems to be largely over—except on talk radio, cable, and local television. Last year, a meteorologist at CBS’s Chicago station did a special report entitled “The Truth about Global Warming.” It featured local scientists discussing the hazards of global warming in one segment, well-known national skeptics in another, and ended with a cop-out: “What is the truth about global warming?…It depends on who you talk to.” Not helpful, and not good reporting.
[...I]n today's media landscape, each is obscured by a choking amount of misinformation and FUD. (If there's a flaw in Russell's analysis, it's that short shrift is given to the web's ability to knit all the kooks, er... skeptics, into a pretty powerful wrecking ball that can really damage public understanding. It's like rabid, Limbaugh–style talk radio, gone virulently word-of-mouth. It'll take a lot of good journalism and a very large, empowered, web-savvy army of climate activists to wrestle this beast to the ground -- but that's another post entirely.) It's my sincere hope that the journalistic profession enjoys its finest moment in the years just ahead -- that all that storytelling talent rises to the challenge, doggedly, relentlessly pursues the truth, and delivers it straight, no chaser, to a public that needs it far more than they currently realize.Another person who seems keen on labeling all AGW critics as "kooks" and heaping scorn on them without actualyl responding to twhat they say is Mark Lynas. In this article he prefers to call all us skeptics the lackeys of sinister right-wing US think tanks. I don't have a problem with that as a part of the article but the article is a classic of its type in that it doesn't rebutt the arguments these think tanks make (or sponsor) but just calls their impartiality into question. Turn about is fair play. If AGW is exposed as a fraud what will happen to Mark Lynas and other environmental activists? It is perhaps a worthwhile question.
By broadcasting programmes that appear to manipulate and even fabricate evidence, [Channel 4] has impeded efforts to forestall the 21st century's greatest threat. For how much longer will this be allowed to continue? And for how much longer will Ofcom forbid itself to state that a programme is misleading?To be factually honest through Monbiot does make some attempt to pick holes in the science too so in this case at least he gets a kind of pass. But IMO he would have been better advised to omit the "allowed to continue?" rhetorical question. The answer to that should be obvious: for ever.
Update: This site goes for the charming comparison of climate change skeptics with holocaust deniers in the process of stating that no skeptical comment will be permitted at the site (H/T Devils Kitchen)