SEJ Workshop Resources

Thank you for attending the October 3 workshop at the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference which introduced you to the Climate Matters in the Newsroom program for journalists and TV meteorologists. The Climate Matters Media Library is your go-to source for local climate reporting resources. Below are additional resources. They are organized in the following categories, all under a general heading of Climate Change: Expert Sources, Science and Impacts, Health Impacts, Scientific Consensus, Public Opinion, Journalists’ Opinion, Language Issues, Myth Debunking, Exemplary Reporting, and Other Useful Links.

Expert Sources

  • SciLine – This service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science provides journalists with connections to expert sources for reporting.
  • Climate Science Rapid Response Team – Online service that provides journalists with connections to expert sources on climate science
  • Climate Feedback – This website houses climate scientists’ reviews of published journalism, assessing its scientific credibility

Science and Impacts

Health Impacts

Scientific Consensus

When applied to basic facts about climate change (that it is real and human caused), the journalistic norm of “balance” results in a biased representation of the facts. Original research was published in 2004 on this topic, Balance as Bias by Boykoff & Boykoff. Additional research showed that this improved somewhat from 2003 to 2006. An update on this question since 2006 is in progress. Recent surveys of journalists by our team at George Mason University show that false balance is still a problem, see the Journalists’ Opinion section below.

This is a problem because there is a clear scientific consensus: based on the evidence, 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human caused global warming is happening. All major scientific societies agree that climate change is real and human caused. This can be seen, for example, in statements from the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

A resource for understanding and communicating this consensus is The Consensus Handbook.

John Oliver showed how humor can be used to make this point on his HBO show “This Week Tonight”.

Public Opinion

Journalists’ Opinion

See the Climate Matters in the Newsroom reports on surveys of:

Language Issues

The Resources section of this website includes several relevant articles on this topic including:

Myth Debunking

When debunking common climate myths, it is important to understand the psychology of doing this effectively to avoid reinforcing the myths. The website Skeptical Science explains and debunks common climate myths. They also offer a handbook on effective myth debunking. They even have smartphone apps.

Exemplary Reporting

Fellowships and Funding

Other Useful Links