Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WJLA Makes Coverage of Climate's Impact on Warm Weather Look Easy

Reporters make covering the relationship between extreme weather and climate change seem really hard. It doesn't have to be! Take today's story from WJLA's John Gonzalez:
  • It's much warmer than average
  • That's good in some ways and bad in others
  • Climate science tells us it fits a long-term pattern and we can expect more of it if we don't cut our carbon pollution
  • Moms doing their exercises outdoors! With cute babies!
And that's it! Not controversial. Not political. No sound bite from the American Petroleum Institute necessary. Just the facts.

Many reporters think the way to dodge politics and controversy is to avoid mentioning the connection between climate change and extreme weather altogether. Just the opposite! Omitting facts and leaving a void of confusion in their place is no better than manufacturing a false "balance" with he said, she said reporting.

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