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.