By JOE DAVIS
Journalists writing about climate change got some help this fall when the Yale Project on Climate Change launches a new publication aimed at helping them communicate science – and communicate with scientists.
The Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media is published online, aimed mostly at an audience of journalists, but also at scientists, policymakers, and the general public.
Quarterbacking the Forum will be SEJ co-founder Bud Ward, now a private consultant, who has spent the last several years organizing seminars, funded by the National Science.
Foundation, to help journalists and scientists communicate with one another about climate.
The publication also is aimed at a select cadre of scientists, editors, media execs, and foundations. It focuses specifically on the problems of covering the complex science and policy questions raised by climate change in general-audience news media.
The Yale Project on Climate Change, which funds the Yale Forum, is housed at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The project was born out of an October 2005 conference on climate the school held in Aspen, Colo. It (http://environment.yale.edu/climate/) spans areas ranging from business, entertainment, news, and religion to education and politics – all with an eye to translating science into action.
In addition to provocative opinion pieces, the Forum will offer case studies in climate change media coverage. It will also offer journalists an array of tools helpful in getting climate coverage right – beginning with a Rolodex full of names and phone numbers of reputable scientists, guides to terminology, and key articles. Important, too, will be explanations of the many academic disciplines involved in studying climate change, and profiles of the various research institutions and policy groups involved in climate.
Climate change, project sponsors believe, is not just for environmental journalists. The Forum will explain how the story impacts many other journalistic beats – ranging from business and economics writing to fishing and skiing magazines.
**From SEJ's quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Fall 2007 issue.