“Let us not be hypocritical about this,” his cameraperson, Kripal Singh, interjected. “It is same with the American or any other media.”
Indeed, Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe, a senior correspondent for The Punch, a Nigerian daily newspaper, said that her pieces about a Copenhagen played up the Africa angle and its acute vulnerability in the climate crisis. “I think Africa is right and I have that in the back of my mind when I write, but that does not make me fake facts,” she said.
Still, there were others who claimed that they covered the event with a sense of detachment.
“Do I care about the outcome here? No,” said the Times’s Broder. “I can’t say that the fate of the world is being decided right now here at Copenhagen, but skepticism about this meeting doesn’t make me a skeptic about the science.”
Stacy Feldman, a reporter based in Tel Aviv who insists on “not feeling, just investigating,” admits that being totally “objective” is hard. “I try and do objective reporting from the perspective that a global deal is good for the world,” she said.
Like Broder, Feldman, was not rooting for one result or another. “I won’t be sad if no deal is reached. I’m simply not emotionally invested in it,” she said.
But Fred-Adegbulugbe said she couldn’t relate to such detachment. “I’m told to be neutral since it’s not my business, but it is my business because I’m involved in it,” she said.
Following the Copenhagen Accord, critics have lampooned the summit as a United Nations circus with zero results, but there are some veteran climate journalists who saw subtle but meaningful differences.
“There are no climate skeptics here,” said Wootliff, who has covered every major U.N. climate meeting since the 1990s, calling this one a “good COP.” “There has been a fundamental shift. This is the first time I’ve heard people talking about the future of their children and their grandchildren.”
What will come of all the pomp and circumstance remains to be seen, of course, but some journalists were impressed by the sense of having witnessed a historic moment.
“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I think, was it worth spending so much money and time?” said Fred-Adegbulugbe. “But I’ve learned new things and met new people. Most of all, I want to be able to say I was there.”