Andy Revkin of the New York Times' Dot Earth blog, speaks on climate change and the media.
"Media Coverage Impacts Climate Change Perceptions, Actions"
Author: Lucia Cordon
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Environment and Natural Resources
Leading climate journalists and scholars headlined a three-part seminar series this spring on "Climate Change & the Media," sponsored by the Belfer Center and the Shorenstein Center on the Media, Politics and Public Policy. Organized and moderated by Cristine Russell, senior fellow with the Belfer Center's Environment and Natural Resources Program, the seminars looked at the impact of media on public perceptions of the reality and threat of climate change.
Andrew Revkin of the New York Times' blog "Dot Earth" noted that "climate change, which rarely makes the front page of major newspapers, has found its voice through online social networks such as blogs and Twitter." A major challenge, he said, is ensuring that the public get credible information on climate change issues-and not just views of advocates or skeptics.
Juliet Eilperin, who covers environment for the Washington Post, and Eric Pooley, deputy editor of Bloomberg's Business Week, expressed concern that newspapers' financial challenges are undermining climate change coverage. They noted also that paid professional climate change deniers have had successful campaigns that promote controversy and discourage the public from taking action.
Belfer Center Associate Professor of Public Policy Matthew Bunn, who served as discussant for the final seminar on the role of the media in communicating about new clean energy technologies, framed the discussion by saying, "Scale is the fundamental issue. We don't really understand as a society just how big this challenge is."
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