This is the fourth IJNotes episode in our series on environmental journalism. To listen to the previous episode – Covering major climate events – click here.
No two communities will experience the effects of climate change in the same way. As the climate crisis worsens, the need for comprehensive, educational and sometimes life-saving news coverage increases.
While national and international media play an important role in covering the crisis, local outlets may be better able to understand how their communities view and bear its consequences, and what solutions are best for them.
In addition to an in-depth understanding of their local audience, local outlets benefit from more public trust than national ones. In a world where only 54% of the global population expresses “a lot” or a “great deal” of trust in what scientists say about the environment, that trust in local media is an important advantage in the ability to educate people about the climate crisis.
What exactly can local journalism bring to the way the climate crisis is covered? Why are local sources so important in producing engaging stories about the environment? And what can national journalists learn from local climate reporters?
In our newest IJNotes episode, we spoke with Tristan Baurick, an environment reporter for The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans-based newspaper. Baurick’s work focuses on coastal restoration, fisheries and the oil industry. He won the Society of Environmental Journalists’ prestigious Pulliam Award in 2020.
Baurick discusses why covering the environment from a local perspective is so critical, and how interviewing local sources can generate important impact. He also provides tips on how to report the climate crisis from different angles, and how to make climate change stories more engaging.
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