Poorly-matched partners? Media coverage and climate change

How do you report on an incremental disaster? Of the many challenges to public understanding of climate change, one of the most serious is that the tools we use most to talk about problems and spread ideas – mass media – are designed to respond best to short-term crises, not gradual catastrophes.

I think it’s an endless work we have to do around communicating, convincing people,” said Nicolas Fleury, Deputy Secretary of International Standards Organisation.

The key, according to the Guardian’s Fiona Harvey, is to find ways of making stories concrete.

The job of a journalist is find the telling angles that will bring that home to the reader, so the reader doesn’t see this as some vague, abstract thing,” said Harvey. “It’s a human story, and you’ve got to put people front and centre.”

Examples of compelling environmental stories abound, such as the volunteer work done by Scouts the world over.