It’s Friday, January 28th.
Climate change will disproportionately affect those who need effective climate coverage most. In every city in America, neighborhoods that are predominately Black will face health risks that come along with the urban heat island effect, exacerbated by redlining. Rural Americans in flyover country are watching droughts become longer and floods more common as a warming globe means the very science behind the weather patterns changes. And according to the fourth National Climate Assessment, rural communities are some of the most at-risk for climate change effects.
Despite this, mainstream science journalism, with notable exceptions, has done a terrible job of communicating what’s at stake and who is most vulnerable.
With funding from the National Association of Science Writers, we set out to make a project that examined a crossroads: objectivity and science journalism.
While science might evolve over time, and has its own issues with “objectivity,” we concentrated on the shortcomings of journalism as an institution — and how journalists can do better.
We put out an open call last year and selected a few writers to help us expand on this idea in our Science Journalism Series.
When assessing pitches, we wanted stories that explored the shortcomings of today’s science reporting in tangible, correctable ways. We asked: Does this story affect underreported communities? Does this story offer a path forward? Does this story connect science with people’s everyday lives?
- Claire Carlson, a rural reporting fellow for The Daily Yonder, writes about who is overlooked when wildfires (and the communities they damage) aren’t covered holistically.
- Lily Lou, a software engineer, explains that in tech reporting, journalists often leave out the people and power systems within the industry.
- Finally, PhD student Nina Dewi Toft Djanegara writes about how women of color are excluded from their own science stories, “even when their ideas remain.”
This issue is by Holly Rosewood & Marlee Baldridge with editing by Curtis Yee.
A Bit More Media
Q&A: Janelle Salanga — Last week, we spoke with Janelle Salanga, Deputy Editor at The Objective, about collective action in journalism, being open about their mental health, New Girl (obviously), and how their time studying computer science informed their journalism. Read the full interview here.
AP education network — In response to the pandemic’s toll on the U.S. education system, the Associated Press is creating an education reporting network with support from the Carnegie Corporation. Coverage will span all 50 states and will reportedly feature “opportunities for systemic change” in schools.
“What Happened at The Root?” — In the past year, 15 of The Root’s 16 staffers have quit, yet another example of G/O Media’s effect on newsrooms. Tarpley Hitt writes about management’s editorial changes, hostile communication, and the lack of upward mobility at the site. “There were many reasons to think that, at various times, The Root’s owners wanted a different website.”
Damon Young joins the Post — Starting Monday, the Washington Post will begin publishing columns from writer Damon Young, the co-founder of VerySmartBrothas and creator of a forthcoming Crooked Media podcast. The Post says Young’s columns will cover “the angst, anxieties and absurdities of American life, specifically culture, class, money, and race.”
Boston Globe climate coverage — The Boston Globe has announced it’s “expanding and rethinking” climate coverage and published commitments which include: not debating the reality of climate change, holding private companies and politicians accountable, and highlighting the disproportionate effects of climate change on marginalized communities.
How public media strengthens democracies —A study published in the International Journal of Press/Politics finds that countries with healthier democracies tend to also have well-funded public media—the United States is an obvious outlier. Read more about the paper in Nieman Lab.
Stay Up To Date
3 days until … the end of early bird registration for NABJ’s inaugural HBCYou Training Day. ($$$) The virtual job fair, which is the “first major project of the NABJ HBCU Initiative,” takes place on February 26, 2022.
7 days until … the NAJA-NBC News Summer Fellowship application deadline. The paid fellowship is open to NAJA members currently enrolled at a U.S. college or university and starts in June.
9 days until … applications close for the National Press Foundation Widening the Pipeline Fellowship. Up to 25 journalists will be selected for the year-long fellowship, which begins in March.
What events should we feature? You tell us. Reply directly or send an email to [email protected].
A few more resources
For your portfolio website: If you identify as a journalist with a background historically underrepresented in journalism, Authory will provide you with a free one-year account to back up your articles (a $96 value).
Looking for a job? Here are a few places to look: INN | ONA | JournalismJobs.com | 10 Jobs and a Dog | NABJ | AAJA | NAHJ | NLGJA | @WritersofColor | MEO Jobs | Freelance Journalist Rates | Source Jobs | Opportunities of the Week ($)
How about a style guide? Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | Tribal Nations Media Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide | AAJA Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America | NAHJ Cultural Competence Handbook
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The Objective is a nonprofit newsroom holding journalism accountable for past and current systemic biases in reporting and newsroom practices. We are written by and for those underrepresented in journalism.