At the end of the month, the landmark UN Climate Change Conference (a.k.a COP26) is finally taking place in Glasgow, UK. It is a big deal with all eyes on how much progress governments around the world have made since the Paris Agreement in 2015, and their next commitments on climate action.
The conference has been cited as one of the reasons why news organisations have beefed up their coverage of the topic. And yet, for all the climate hubs and verticals launched recently, leading industry experts say climate change is becoming relevant to all desks in the newsroom. It is a deja vu of the shift to covering covid-19 that required all beats to switch to bleak news and complex science.
So how do reporters do the subject justice? In this week's podcast, we speak to James Fahn, a lecturer at UC-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, an experienced journalist and author on climate topics. He is also the executive director of Internews' Earth Journalism Network (EJN), a project which aims to upskill journalists from developing countries to better report on the environment.
He offers a cheat sheet on what journalists need to know going into COP26, what is at stake, and what key developments to keep an eye on.
Fahn also talks about EJN's collaboration with the Scottish print and online news publication The Scotsman ahead of the conference. The idea is that Scottish readers will see bylines from reporters from developing countries, who are trained by EJN to cover the talks.