New Collaboration on Climate Journalism Launched

The Climate Desk, an online collaboration between seven news organizations to provide integrated coverage of all aspects of climate change, launched this Monday.

Grist, Mother Jones, Wired, PBS’s Need to Know, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Atlantic and Slate have combined resources and agreed to share stories created for the site, which has been called “crowd sourcing journalism with actual journalists.”

The site was created to address a number of emerging problems with reporting on climate change, including that coverage tends to be fractured between various news “desks,” such as business, environment or technology. Founders also realized that “climate change is slow-moving, vast, and overwhelming for news organizations to grapple with,” and that news room cuts just make matters worse, according to a Q&A on the website.

The Climate Desk’s founders also hope the new site will help move climate reporting beyond the usual suspects in climate reporting. From the Q&A:

Coverage is too often fixated on imperiled wildlife, political gamesmanship, or the ‘debate’ over the existence of climate change, all at the expense of advancing the bigger story—how we’re going to address, mitigate, or adapt to it.

The first series of stories focus on how businesses are preparing for climate change, including a piece on “the coming tide of transnational climate lawsuits,” headlined “Tuvalu v. ExxonMobil?” According to an article in the Columbia Journalism Review, over the next two weeks, two dozen stories produced collaboratively by all seven news organizations will run on The Climate Desk, as well as on the outlets’ websites.

The Climate Desk gets its principal funding from the Surdna Foundation and the Park Foundation; if it “attains escape velocity,” as the site Q&A puts it, The Climate Desk could become its own 501c non-profit. That would put it in a growing trend of non-profit online-only news outlets, including the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Triple Pundit looks forward to reading The Climate Desk’s reporting!

BC (Ben) Upham is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. He has written for the New York Times, and was a writer and editor for News Communications, Inc., a local paper consortium serving Manhattan. When he's not blogging on green issues -- and especially renewable energy -- he's hiking in the Angeles Mountains or hanging out at El Matador.

2 responses

Leave a Reply