Are Journalists Reporting on the Highest-Impact Climate Solutions? Findings from a Survey of Environmental Journalists

Amanda C. Borth, Eryn Campbell, Sammi Munson, Shaelyn M. Patzer, William A. Yagatich & Edward Maibach (2022) “Are Journalists Reporting on the Highest-Impact Climate Solutions? Findings from a Survey of Environmental Journalists.” Journalism Practice 16(2-3) 443-461, DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2021.2002711

Abstract: While the most promising climate change solutions have yet to be widely implemented, journalists are well-positioned to ensure that solutions are on the public’s agenda. Here, we investigate the climate solutions reporting interests and practices of environmental journalists (N = 592), paying particular attention to negative emissions technologies (NETs). We found that most environmental journalists are reporting on adaptation and resilience stories and renewable energy stories; additionally, over half were interested in and had recently reported on negative emissions solutions. A quantitative content analysis of participants’ descriptions of their most recent negative emissions story found: (1) many of these stories did not appear to be about NETs per se, (2) participants were more likely to focus on nature-based rather than technological NETs, and (3) participants are particularly interested in reporting on the feasibility of NETs. While these results are promising, resources to support journalists in reporting about climate solutions may be helpful, particularly on navigating the nuances of negative emissions technologies.

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