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Filling the Gaps in US Media Coverage of Climate Change and Biodiversity

The decline of regional and local media outlets in parts of the US has left wide gaps in the provision of information to the public and local policymakers, especially when it comes to complex but crucial topics such as climate change and biodiversity. This is especially concerning given that the effects of climate change and environmental degradation disproportionately fall on underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, these impacts.

Underserved communities in New Orleans are one of many across the country confronted with intensifying risk, from rising sea levels, hotter temperatures, drought, threats to drinking water supply, and more.

To address gaps in information about these impacts and community-led solutions to build resilience, and to improve representation in local media, Internews’ Listening Post Collective and Earth Journalism Network are partnering with Lede New Orleans, a nonprofit working to ensure local media reflects the community it serves. This nine-month-long project, supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will support two climate-focused cohorts of the Lede Community Reporting Fellowship, which trains BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creatives aged 18 to 25 to produce journalism with and for their communities.

With support from mentors, 8-10 Lede fellows who are interested in a future in climate-based reporting will participate in a training curriculum and receive funding to produce either longform journalism pieces or short documentaries.

Lede will also focus on community engagement at the local level by hosting public events and viewings to engage civic conversation around these topics.

The project aims to create accessible and representative content and promote discussions about climate change and biodiversity issues in New Orleans.

Banner image: Lede Reporting Fellows will develop their interviewing, researching, writing, photo, video and audio skills through hands-on reporting work in and around New Orleans / Credit: Lede New Orleans.