Reporting on climate change can be challenging, however this guide produced by the World Editors Forum makes it easier for journalists
The World Editors Forum, along with Temasek Foundation, has released a guide that will help journalists with reporting on climate change. Understanding science and reporting on climate can be challenging for some journalists. This guide provides tips on how to write a compelling article on the climate.
Understanding the methods for studying and measuring climate change
Journalists need to learn the methods and metrics used to study and measure climate change. Understanding the science will help journalists identify angles and target audiences and knowing the terms helps with the writing process.
Understanding the elements of a science journal article, and which sections to read first
The guide advises that journalists first read the executive summary and the summary of results.
Always identify the science. Be cautious with the rest
Avoid ‘grey literature’ which is written by individuals and organisations whose primary function is not publishing.
Keep data in context
Do not cherry-pick or use data out of context.
Don’t always focus on the bad, present the problems but also present solutions: how the problem can be fixed
Journalists should report from a solutions-based lens. A solutions-based story focuses on a response to a problem, offers insight and evidence, and lastly report on the limitations.
Language, tone, and audience matter
It is important for a story to not only focus on the data, numbers, or the science but it should include people or communities that are impacted. Put a face on climate change, the language and tone need to be relatable by avoiding scientific jargon.
Visuals, visuals, visuals!
Climate change can be overwhelming and text-heavy, it is important for journalists to visualise climate change. The more images the better!