The i newspaper and magazine publisher Immediate Media have joined a US-led initiative to ramp up media reporting on the threat posed by climate change ahead of a UN summit next month.
More than 170 news outlets worldwide have signed up for the Covering Climate Now project, which was founded by US industry title the Columbia Journalism Review and weekly magazine The Nation.
All of the participating publishers and broadcasters have committed to running climate coverage throughout the week leading up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September.
The CJR said each outlet could decide how many stories to run and what those stories say, with the only requirement that they “make a good faith effort to run as much high-quality climate coverage as they can and thereby signal to their audiences the paramount importance of the climate story”.
Rob Hastings, deputy features editor of the i, said yesterday the newspaper had decided to join “to show the harsh realities” of climate change “but also inspire hope”.
Hastings wrote that “intimidating headlines don’t help”, adding: “It’s important to remember why we report on what humans are doing to our planet… we can all make a difference”.
Signatory Immediate Media publishes magazine brands including the Radio Times, BBC Good Food, Top Gear, Lonely Planet magazine, Cycling Plus, Gardeners’ World and a number of craft and children’s titles.
Last month, more than 100 Immediate employees published an open letter to their bosses demanding their titles stop carrying advertising from oil and gas companies amid concern over the climate crisis.
Staff across editorial, production and commercial also asked whether their magazines can do more to talk to their audiences about climate change, saying: “Climate silence is a pervasive problem with the media industry.”
Other UK titles signed up include specialist titles Business Green, Physics World, Nature and Climate News Network, while the University of Manchester is also backing the project.
No UK broadcasters have put their name to the project, but Channel 4 News chief correspondent Alex Thomson has signed up as an independent journalist.
International newsbrands with a UK presence to take part will include Bloomberg, Buzzfeed News, Getty Images, Huffpost, Vanity Fair, and Vice.
Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, said: “The need for solid climate coverage has never been greater.
“We’re proud that so many organisations from across the US and around the world have joined with Covering Climate Now to do our duty as journalists – to report this hugely important story.”
Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay