Jan 29, 2024
Dear KOMO, KIRO and Seattle Media Organizations,
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),climate change increasingly threatens health, ecosystems, infrastructure, livelihoods and food security around the globe.
We are seeing those impacts in the intensified flooding that broke two dams and killed thousands in Libya; the massive wildfires in Europe North America and Hawaii; and the drought-related famine affecting millions in Somalia….
As the most recent IPCC report warns, the window is closing fast on our ability to address the climate emergency before it’s too late to avert even more catastrophic impacts.
As climate defenders and members of Extinction Rebellion Seattle, our question for your organization is — how are you covering the climate emergency?
- Are you reporting climate-related events as isolated, extreme weather conditions and unrelated humanitarian crises, or are you identifying the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and industrial agriculture as the causes of these events?
- Are you reporting on oil, gas, and fuel stories as if they are merely about economics or consumer attitudes, or are you connecting these stories to the climate crisis and the catastrophic consequences of our continued reliance on fossil fuels?
- Finally, are you including real solutions to the climate crisis in your stories, rather than focusing solely on stop-gap measures like proposed seawalls in coastal cities and towns?
During the COVID emergency, news journalists were fierce protectors of scientific truth and the public interest. When politicians spread misinformation about treatments or lies about disease prevention journalists called them out. They put COVID at the center of their work, day in and day out. COVID was DAILY headline news. The climate emergency is surely no less catastrophic, no less urgent, no less pervasive. Is your news organization treating it as such? Is it top news every day as it deserves to be, and as the public interest demands?
Covering Climate Now is an organization of your peers — journalists who have come together to create new strategies for reporting the news. They have developed a set of best practices that we believe should be implemented by every news organization concerned with accurate reporting about the climate disruptions already happening and their dire ecological consequences. Here are the URLs for two of the resources CCN provides — their best practices and their guide for connecting news stories to the climate crisis:
We would like to connect with you to discuss the importance of reporting on the climate crisis. We would love to hear from you to set up a time to talk.
Andrea O’Ferrall — Extinction Rebellion Seattle