Water and mountain
Credit: Linford Miles on Unsplash

The Washington Post is expanding its climate and environment journalism to help readers take action in their lives.

The new climate and environment department will see 30 new journalists working across newsletters, visual storytelling projects and social media.

"We have seen tremendous response from readers to coverage that empowers them to improve their own lives," says Zachary Goldfarb, climate and environment editor of The Washington Post, in an email to Journalism.co.uk.

"This is true in wellness, it’s true in technology, and it’s true in climate. We know readers don't only want to learn about the challenges facing the planet but understand what part they can play."

Climate reporting can often feel distant and impersonal. The Post will instead attempt to demystify the science and engage readers with tough questions with a string of fresh, accessible services and products.

There is a new climate advice column and newsletter, written by Michael Coren, offering practical tips on shopping, eating, homeownership and travel. These will complement the section's broader features about a more sustainable lifestyle.

In the coming weeks, The Post will also roll out Climate Lab, home to visual and data-analysis stories about climate, environment and extreme weather. It will feature the new climate graphics columnist Harry Stevens, the journalist behind the most-viewed article in the history of The Washington Post — a visualisation showing how disease outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially and how to flatten the curve. He also worked on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2°C: Beyond the Limit series for explanatory journalism about global warming.

Other significant additions include Animalia, a column about animals, wildlife recovery or recent discoveries, and Hidden Planet, uncovering curiosities and oddities about Earth and beyond from the weather team.

Targetting younger readers

The Post’s dedicated @PostClimate Instagram account will also get an uplift, in a bid to attract younger, more diverse and more global readers. In other words, the next generation of readers in the US and abroad.

"We know that younger readers around the world care heavily about the climate, so it makes sense for this to be an area of focus. At the same time, we are working hard to reach these readers wherever they may be – on social media, or those coming to our site and looking for coverage that is intimate and visceral.

"We will have traditional news and enterprise stories, but also visually immersive stories that combine video, graphics and cutting-edge design and interactivity. We will have digestible analysis stories and stories that break down tough questions into key takeaways."

In conjunction with the expansion, The Post's live journalism platform, Washington Post Live, will host a week-long programming series entitled "This is Climate" from 5-9 December. Programming will be virtual with an exclusive in-person program on 8 December,

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