From false balance to undisclosed conflicts of interest, a lot of what we talk about in this space has to do with how the media handles climate change. More important than just what deniers are up to, we look for the ways in which deniers manipulate media to serve their corporate masters.
Though we’re far from the only ones pointing out the media’s missteps, we always welcome newcomers. And now there’s a new place for meta-media stories: MediaFileDC. This brand new operation has a particularly interesting feature- it’s a student-run publication. Editor-in-Chief and George Washington University senior Scott Nover explains in an intro post that the DC-based publication has a unique angle on journalism. For these student-writers, they have a lifetime of navigating the changing media landscape ahead of them. As Nover notes in his post, although the students have heard that “news is dying” from professors, pundits and probably parents, their passion for journalism drives them to remain “committed to figuring out the future of it all.”
Even a quick look at their inaugural content suggests that what might be perceived as a weakness- their youth- is actually going to be a major strength. For example, that they’re digital natives allows for a smart but not condescending article pointing out the limitations of using Google Trends for reporting, something most recently brought to the fore by post-Brexit reporting on British googlings. They also managed to produce a piece about Snapchat, Instagram and advertising that’s free from the cringe-inducing “fellow kids” pandering that haunts most stories about social media (though admittedly that’s more of a pet peeve than real problem).
When it comes to climate change, we look forward to seeing what they’ll do. Though it came up in their first weekly roundup of multimedia pieces, which highlighted a Vox video on the changing climate conversation over the last decade, it’s not a topic they’ve dug deep on... yet. We asked if climate change would be in their wheelhouse, and International Editor Clare Hymes said via email:
“At MediaFile, our mission is to be objective and truthful, to take every side of the argument and analyze the media’s conversation. When we take a topic as impactful and important as climate change, we want to do it right. We will take the scientific community’s consensus and use that as the pillar of our discussion of news coverage. Climate change is, unfortunately, the elephant in the room. It's a reality that is frequently overlooked not just by domestic, but also by international media outlets. And, that’s something that we plan on covering.”
As we know all too well, media often struggles to make the climate connection. Now with these university kids schooling the media on its shortcomings, the students, it seems, have become the teachers.
Top Climate and Clean Energy Stories:
Nobel prize winner tells Clinton: Tax fossil fuels | I think a carbon tax would stimulate the economy," Stiglitz told CNNMoney. He says it would lead many firms to remodel their factories and redesign their supply chains, which would generate jobs and growth.
Australia steps up gas fracking bans despite supply crunch | Victoria state has gone further than any other in Australia to block shale and coal seam fracking, announcing a permanent ban on Tuesday due to concerns of farmers and green groups on health and water risks
Chinese public overwhelmingly backs renewables push | Over 90 per cent of people in China are concerned about environmental pollution and more than 96 per cent believe 'green power' could help to tackle the air pollution that is afflicting many of the country's cities.