The climate crisis is real and an urgent challenge to all humanity, and Canada's National Observer is thrilled to join with dozens of global media outlets to amplify the reporting and debate about its many and varied implications as part of the Covering Climate Now project.
The project, which involves a week in September where the front pages and airwaves of more than 60 outlets will be filled with climate coverage, was co-founded by The Nation and the Columbia Journalism Review in partnership with The Guardian and aims to convene and inform a conversation about how the media can do justice to the defining story of our time.
It is a natural fit for National Observer, where reporting on the environment and the energy industry is a primary focus.
"Covering climate change is at the core of what we do," said Linda Solomon Wood, National Observer's founder and editor-in-chief. "Canada’s National Observer is thrilled to join news organizations from around the world through Covering Climate Now in intensive coverage at this critical time."
National Observer prioritizes investigative and in-depth reporting on climate change, the energy industry and the environment, and is also reporting on disinformation in Canada's federal election. This involves digging into attempts to intentionally deceive the public on climate change, the carbon tax and the oil industry.
Other publications and broadcasters that have pledged to dedicate resources to climate coverage — specifically for the week starting Sept. 16 and leading up to the UN Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23 — include:
- major U.S. TV network CBS News;
- specialist publications including Nature (U.K.), Scientific American and the Harvard Business Review;
- Asahi Shimbun and la Repubblica, the biggest newspapers in Japan and Italy, respectively;
- digital outlets including HuffPost, Vox, The Intercept, and Slate;
- major U.S. metro newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times;
- U.S. public radio programs including NPR's Marketplace and PRI's The World, and public radio stations in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and elsewhere; and
- magazines including Maclean’s and Newsweek Japan.
The project asks for no minimum amount of coverage and there is no “editorial line” that participating outlets have to follow. The only request is for a good-faith effort to make clear that climate change is not just one more story but the overriding story of our time.
As Mark Hertsgaard of the Nation and Kyle Pope, editor-in-chief of Columbia Journalism Review, wrote in an op-ed at the time of the project's launch in May, it is a story that many are not hearing enough about.
“At a time when civilization is accelerating toward disaster, climate silence continues to reign across the bulk of the U.S. news media,” they wrote. “Especially on television, where most Americans still get their news, the brutal demands of ratings and money work against adequate coverage of the biggest story of our time.”