About CCC

Hi, I’m Sara Shipley Hiles, editor of Covering Climate Change. I’ve created this blog to analyze media coverage of climate change, one of the biggest stories of our time.

As a longtime environmental reporter myself, I’ve watched this story evolve over time. Back when I was a reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2002-2005, stories about climate change had a “he said/she said” feel about them. They almost always included quotes from scientists who said climate change was happening and skeptics who said it wasn’t (or it wasn’t as bad as others suggested). The two sides were pitted against each other with little hint as to which one was right.

Today, climate change stories more often reflect the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that human activity contributes to it. However, in the current political milieu, backlash against the “accepted” science seems to be growing.

I’m interested in looking at how reporters cover this fast-changing, controversial story. Specifically, how do reporters decide how to frame their stories? How do they decide which sources to quote? Are reporters  “objective” in their coverage? Should they be? Some say they should be advocates or analysts. Others say objectivity is a myth.

This research will form the basis for my master’s thesis in Journalism at the University of Missouri.

Please join me in this pursuit. Send me comments, links and suggestions. Thanks for your interest.



  1. Hi Sarah

    I just came across your blog — looks interesting. I’m a founder of the Climate Change Media Partnership and I’ve got a book chapter on media coverage of climate change that I would like to share with you.

    Best wishes

    • Yes, please, I would love to have the chapter. If it’s online I can link to it here.

      I’m just getting this blog up and running. I’m doing this analysis for my master’s thesis in Journalism at University of Missouri. I’m hoping to do interviews with experienced reporters about their coverage and how it’s changed. One thing I’m interested in exploring is how reporters deal with the issue of being “objective” in their coverage when there are so many interest groups on the right and left who constantly scrutinize what they report. If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them. Perhaps we can talk at some point about the subject.

      Thanks for the comment!


  2. Hey Sara: Way to go and all best. Look forward to following, and writing about, your work. I hope The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media (http:yaleclimatemediaforum.org) can be a good resource for you and also a good chronicler of your own blot and climate coverage work. Maybe we can plan, scheme, and connive at Madison conference in October. Regards, Bud

    • Thanks Bud! I have already posted the Yale Forum on my blogroll and actually have its RSS feed scrolling. : ) I would love to talk to you at Madison and would appreciate your expertise. After a year off last year thanks to the birth of my little boy, I’m coming back this year. Looking forward to it.


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