Giving climate the coverage it deserves

Melting ice in Greenland swamping South Carolina. Deadly heat scorching low-wage workers in Los Angeles. Rising seas driving Africans to migrate to Europe and coastal Bangladeshis to flee inland to overcrowded cities.

The climate emergency is unfolding in our own backyards and around the world—and it is generating some astonishing journalism.

Three years ago, Covering Climate Now was founded by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation to encourage better coverage of the climate crisis. Last year the Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards were launched as a showcase for journalists producing the very best work. More and more journalists and newsrooms are now reporting the climate story—both the heartbreaking realities and the common-sense solutions—and sharing their findings with people and policymakers who can drive change.

The 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Award winners, announced today, highlight the success of climate journalists around the globe—but also the magnitude of the story that lies before us.

Winners of the 2022 Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards include journalists at The Guardian, Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera English, PBS, HBO Max, the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier, the Los Angeles Times, and WGBH-PRX. Justin Worland, senior correspondent for Time, was named Climate Journalist of the Year.

The winning reporters, producers, photographers, and editors found ways to tell a climate story that is growing, in scale and urgency, by the day. Their work highlights the sober task journalism faces if it has any hope of giving this sprawling story the coverage it deserves: No corner of the planet is untouched, which means no newsroom on earth can afford to ignore it.

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“The most burning question facing humanity is whether we will end the climate emergency before it ends us,” said Mark Hertsgaard, the executive director of Covering Climate Now. “Better news coverage is an essential climate solution, a catalyst that makes progress on every part of the problem—from politics to business, art to activism, and lifestyle change to systems change—more likely.”

From its inception, Covering Climate Now has been driven by the desire to match the vastness of the climate story with the journalistic effort needed to chronicle it. With every month that has passed, the story has gotten bigger. Our job is to grow our commitment in response.

Winners of this year’s awards will be featured in a one-hour TV special hosted by Al Roker, cohost of NBC News’s Today, and Savannah Sellers, host of NBC’s Stay Tuned and NBC News now anchor. The special will air on October 25, 2022, on the world Channel, public media’s premier platform for diverse voices, broadcast by 191 public television stations nationwide.

A full list of the winners is at coveringclimatenow.org/awards.

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Kyle Pope is the editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.