How should journalists report on climate change?

Campaigning for change article written on the 08 Nov 2010

Has the scientific consensus about the increasing scale and pace of climate change rendered traditional journalistic concepts of fairness and balance obsolete?

Recently, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism looked into this problem at their George Munster Award Forum. Every year in conjunction with the George Munster Award for Journalism, a panel of Australia’s top journalists and journalism academics take a look at their profession and how their work does or doesn’t serve the public interest.

Kim Carr, Federal Minister for Science, recently gave a speech in which he had this to say about climate change sceptics:

We don’t have to accord superstition and wishful thinking with the same status as science. This is much more than fairness requires and much more than reason permits.

In this talk on how journalists should report on climate science, the panel are also joined by Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers, Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow in the Department of Environment & Geography at Macquarie University and former Director of the World Climate Research Programme.

You can listen to the talk on ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas’ website.