Online Course: Covering Climate Change

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Earth Journalism Network, Global

Covering Climate Change is a free online training course for journalists from all countries and beats, regardless of medium. It was created by Internews and The Poynter Institute’s News University. Geared toward the non-environment reporter, this course covers all the basics needed to report on climate change with accuracy, depth and nuance. To register see the Covering Climate Change website.

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Once a novelty, the climate change story is now as big as the world, and as local as your back yard. As the story itself has been expanding, so has the journalistic coverage. Today, it is no longer owned by journalists on science and environmental beats. In addition to government and political beats, global warming can be found in beats ranging from international affairs (think climate treaties), to technology (think solar panels), to business (think green industries) and even to the simple general assignment beat (think forest fires and deaths and illness from heat waves).

That’s the goal of this course ― to give non-expert reporters and citizen journalists a firm grounding in the science and policy underlying climate change.

You won’t necessarily walk away an expert environmental journalist. But, if your city council decides to pass a carbon tax or if the politicians in an election you’re covering start debating climate change, knowledge gained from this course should help you do your reporting with greater confidence.

WHAT WILL I LEARN:

  • Climate change affects nearly every beat in a news organization
  • Scientific explanations of how the earth's climate has changed through time are always subject to revision
  • Proposed solutions to global warming and its effects
  • How to write a story without interjecting your own opinions
  • Examples of stories you can do and examples of stories that have been done well by others
  • Tips on reporting -- including where to find resources -- climate change stories
  • Most importantly, you will learn that this course provides a wealth of information that you can come back to over and over again.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE:

Covering Climate Change is intended for journalists from all countries and beats, regardless of medium. Geared toward the non-environment reporter, this course covers all the basics needed to report on climate change with accuracy, depth and nuance.

COURSE INSTRUCTOR:

Tom Yulsman is an associate professor at the University of Colorado's School of Journalism & Mass Communication, where he co-directs theCenter for Environmental Journalism and serves as the News Editorial Sequence head.