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When international issues turn local

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by Candace Bowen, MJE
What kind of coverage has appeared in your student media about climate issues? No, not rehashing something from CNN about the trillion-ton chunk of ice that broke off Antarctica, though that is certainly a concern. And not repeating Time’s coverage of President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron discussing the causes of extreme bad weather.

What has your staff written about how climate change is impacting you and your community – and what the future could be like where you live? Showing leadership is a part of the ethical role of all journalists, and informing your readers and helping them understand complicated issues is part of your job.

What has your staff written about how climate change is impacting you and your community – and what the future could be like where you live? Showing leadership is a part of the ethical role of all journalists, and informing your readers and helping them understand complicated issues is part of your job.

So, what is the best way to explain this multi-faceted, often contentious issue? How can you localize it … or CAN it be localized?

When President Trump announced early this summer that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord because the 2015 agreement was unfair to American businesses, not everyone agreed this was a good thing.

In particular, mayors of cities all of country were concerned with what more than 95 percent of climate scientists say – humans are causing increasingly severe impact to our way of life.

With that in mind, mayors from all over the nation responded to a survey from the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, a new organization made up of the  U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

Survey results showed many think this doesn’t have to be an issue supported at the federal level – cities can make a difference, too.

Is your city or one nearby part of a conscious effort to make a difference in the climate? What are some of the actions these cities are taking? Is there something your audience could do to help? Survey results include the list of cities involved and information about what they are doing.

Find a science teacher in your school or a nearby university to talk through the suggestions. Contact the official in charge in your area. Get the facts. Good journalists – with any kind of media – can make a difference.

 

 

 

 

 

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