Climate Reporting Resources for Journalists of Virginia
Thank you for attending the October 25-26th workshop at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond 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.
Links Between Extreme Weather and Climate Change
“Quick Facts for Any Story”
Produced by Climate Communication and SciLine, these fact sheets for journalists summarize the latest science on the linkages between climate change and extreme weather in clear, concise language. They include scientific references and also list accessible experts to interview and common pitfalls to avoid.
- SciLine – This service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science provides journalists with connections to expert sources for reporting.
- Check out this list of 500 female Climate Scientists in the US from 500womenscientists.org
- 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
The Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment
- Volume I: Climate Science Special Report (2017)
- Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (2018)
The Third U.S. National Climate Assessment
Other Primary Scientific Resources
- What We Know published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- How We Respond published by AAAS
- NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information – world’s largest repository of climate data
- NASA Climate Website includes well presented data, visualizations, and other resources
- Exploring the National Security risks of Climate Change–in Virginia and across the US.
Southeast Regional Science
- Each state has a State Climate Office. Here is the link to Virginia’s, which is part of the University of Virginia
- Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) funded by NOAA, the service climatologist there, William Schmitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can sign up for their monthly and quarterly reports.
- Convergence of Climate-Health Vulnerabilities – the beta version of HERA, the decision-support tool designed to assist in planning and preparedness for extreme events, is found under the ‘Tools’ menu
- Southeast Climate Science Center funded by the Department of Interior
- MEDICAL ALERT! Climate Change Is Harming Our Health published by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health
- The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, 2016 published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program
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 persists (see the Journalists’ Opinion section below).
This is a problem because there is a clear scientific consensus: based on the evidence, more than 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”.
- Climate Change in the American Mind: March 2019, National survey data from researchers at Yale and George Mason University
- Yale Climate Opinion Maps, U.S. 2019, Americans’ views on climate related questions, down-scaled to the county level
See the Climate Matters in the Newsroom reports on surveys of:
- National Association of Black Journalists
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists
- Society of Environmental Journalists
- Radio Television Digital News Association
The Resources section of this website includes several relevant articles on this topic including:
- (Un)Natural Disasters: Communicating Linkages Between Extreme Events and Climate Change
- Communicating the Science of Climate Change
- Improving How Scientists Communicate About Climate Change
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.
- Tony Bartleme of the Charleston Post and Courier‘s series Every Other Breath: Hidden Stories of Climate Change
- Meera Subramanian’s series Finding Middle Ground: Conversations across America
- Climate Matters videos: examples of video clips based on Climate Matters materials on the topics of hummingbirds, hurricanes, wildfires, solar energy, and pollen
Fellowships and Funding
- Fund for Environmental Journalism, Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ)
- Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, offers several grants
- Mongabay Special Reporting Initiatives
- The Nation Institute Investigative Fund, offers several grant and fellowship opportunities
- International Reporting Project
- Fulbright offers fellowships and awards in several categories for larger projects
- Alicia Patterson Foundation offers a fellowship for larger projects by print journalists
- Howard Foundation at Brown University, offers a limited number of fellowships to support larger projects of early and mid-career artists, scholars, and writers
- The Poynter Institute published “Where can you find funding for that local journalism project? Here’s a quick guide.” Resources for funding specific projects and addressing larger issues in journalism are provided.
Interactive Maps and Infographics
- US Energy Information Association – US Energy Source Map
– explore the distribution of various types of energy sources by clicking the “Layers/Legend” tab and turning on/off the different map key items
- Solar Energy Industry Association
Other Useful Links
- One of our workshop speakers, Dr. Michael Allen, has shared his own comprehensive list of resources with us
- The Resources section of this website has links to other useful websites on climate science and solutions
- Doom and Gloom: The Role of the Media in Public Disengagement on Climate Change is an article that shows the importance of including solutions in climate reporting
- Climate Visuals has a large collection of photographs that illustrate climate change’s causes, impacts, and solutions.
- Check out this article from The Open Notebook. It discusses gender differences in story pitching and includes pitching tips for science journalists.
- Global Investigative Journalism Network has a new guide for covering climate change.
- Fossil Fuel Subsidies: A Closer Look at Tax Breaks and Societal Costs, from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.
- From Solutions Journalism: