This is the year we all become climate reporters

“Like the high tides invading Miami Beach, the climate change story is leaking into the newsroom.”

The devastating extreme weather events of 2021 woke up many newsrooms to the need to cover human-caused climate change in a sustained, multidisciplinary way. In short, it was a year in which publications realized they needed a climate reporter.

Some, such as ABC News and CNN, formed dedicated new teams focused on the subject this year. The Washington Post and The New York Times already had extensive resources devoted to the subject. But many news organizations, pressed for resources, still view climate through the lens of science or the environment, siloing it off from the business desk, politics, entertainment, and more.

In the wake of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which was long on promises and short on specifics, extreme weather and climate events will increasingly force reporters’ and editors’ hands, demanding more sustained coverage.

But like the high tides invading Miami Beach, the climate change story is leaking into the newsroom. Climate now is just as much a business and foreign policy story as it is a science topic. Local reporters need to be adept at spotting climate impacts in their communities and telling stories about the people affected by them. Business reporters need to understand the risks to the economy of potential stranded assets as oil and gas companies have to shift — perhaps suddenly — to renewables, leaving many of their proven, valuable reserves in the ground.

National security reporters are already covering climate conflicts, they just might not realize it yet. The geopolitical risks from the destabilizing impacts of climate, including water stress, migration, and severe storms mean that foreign reporters will have to be climate literate.

There have never been so many resources to help journalists tell climate stories, either. For example, investigative journalists can now take advantage of new datasets coming online from satellite companies, such as measurements of carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Working with data reporters, this information can help identify countries and even individual cities and companies that are not living up to their emissions reduction commitments.

In the next few years, a news company — think CNN, The Washington Post, or the LA Times — will take advantage of the decreased cost of accessing space to launch its own Earth-observing satellite, and use its data in storytelling and to sign up subscriptions. Instead of a local TV station advertising a new “Super Doppler 9000” radar for its weather center, I expect media promos about methane-detection satellites to start running in 2022 or 2023.

Andrew Freedman covers climate and energy for Axios.

The devastating extreme weather events of 2021 woke up many newsrooms to the need to cover human-caused climate change in a sustained, multidisciplinary way. In short, it was a year in which publications realized they needed a climate reporter.

Some, such as ABC News and CNN, formed dedicated new teams focused on the subject this year. The Washington Post and The New York Times already had extensive resources devoted to the subject. But many news organizations, pressed for resources, still view climate through the lens of science or the environment, siloing it off from the business desk, politics, entertainment, and more.

In the wake of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which was long on promises and short on specifics, extreme weather and climate events will increasingly force reporters’ and editors’ hands, demanding more sustained coverage.

But like the high tides invading Miami Beach, the climate change story is leaking into the newsroom. Climate now is just as much a business and foreign policy story as it is a science topic. Local reporters need to be adept at spotting climate impacts in their communities and telling stories about the people affected by them. Business reporters need to understand the risks to the economy of potential stranded assets as oil and gas companies have to shift — perhaps suddenly — to renewables, leaving many of their proven, valuable reserves in the ground.

National security reporters are already covering climate conflicts, they just might not realize it yet. The geopolitical risks from the destabilizing impacts of climate, including water stress, migration, and severe storms mean that foreign reporters will have to be climate literate.

There have never been so many resources to help journalists tell climate stories, either. For example, investigative journalists can now take advantage of new datasets coming online from satellite companies, such as measurements of carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Working with data reporters, this information can help identify countries and even individual cities and companies that are not living up to their emissions reduction commitments.

In the next few years, a news company — think CNN, The Washington Post, or the LA Times — will take advantage of the decreased cost of accessing space to launch its own Earth-observing satellite, and use its data in storytelling and to sign up subscriptions. Instead of a local TV station advertising a new “Super Doppler 9000” radar for its weather center, I expect media promos about methane-detection satellites to start running in 2022 or 2023.

Andrew Freedman covers climate and energy for Axios.

Gonzalo del Peon

Errin Haines

Catalina Albeanu

Sarah Stonbely

Matthew Pressman

Tom Trewinnard

Jim Friedlich

Jody Brannon

Francesco Zaffarano

Meena Thiruvengadam

Rachel Glickhouse

Kristen Jeffers

Julia Munslow

Burt Herman

Chase Davis

Kerri Hoffman

Zizi Papacharissi

Amara Aguilar

Juleyka Lantigua

Alice Antheaume

Moreno Cruz Osório

Parker Molloy

An Xiao Mina

j. Siguru Wahutu

Daniel Eilemberg

Laxmi Parthasarathy

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Joshua P. Darr

Kristen Muller

Tamar Charney

Gabe Schneider

Janelle Salanga

Melody Kramer

Matt DeRienzo

Tony Baranowski

Megan McCarthy

Mandy Jenkins

Raney Aronson-Rath

Sam Guzik

Cherian George

Joe Amditis

Ståle Grut

Christoph Mergerson

John Davidow

Millie Tran

Natalia Viana

Anita Varma

Victor Pickard

Jennifer Brandel

Shalabh Upadhyay

Richard Tofel

Michael W. Wagner

Gordon Crovitz

Cindy Royal

Jessica Clark

Julia Angwin

Paul Cheung

Stefanie Murray

Cristina Tardáguila

Amy Schmitz Weiss

Jesenia De Moya Correa

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Brian Moritz

Anthony Nadler

Matt Karolian

Mary Walter-Brown

Chicas Poderosas

Joni Deutsch

Sarah Marshall

Stephen Fowler

Anika Anand

Jonas Kaiser

James Green

Don Day

Nikki Usher

David Skok

Jesse Holcomb

A.J. Bauer

Ariel Zirulnick

Joy Mayer

Andrew Freedman

Simon Allison

Robert Hernandez

Whitney Phillips

Kathleen Searles & Rebekah Trumble

Larry Ryckman

Christina Shih

S. Mitra Kalita

Doris Truong

Mike Rispoli

Eric Nuzum

Wilson Liévano

Izabella Kaminska

Shannon McGregor & Carolyn Schmitt

Jennifer Coogan

Simon Galperin

Mario García

Joanne McNeil

David Cohn

Candace Amos