Last summer, former Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown quit journalism to become a lobbyist for clean energy.
He’s not alone. Millions of people left their jobs or changed careers in the past couple years. But is the field of climate journalism going through its own “Great Resignation?” In a moment when the stakes are so high, are the people who cover the climate crisis leaving journalism to try to help solve it?
Producer Justine Paradis talks with two reporters who recently found themselves re-evaluating their personal and professional priorities: one who left journalism, and another who stayed.
Featuring Sophie Gilbert, Sam Evans-Brown, Stephen Lacey, Julia Pyper, Meaghan Parker, and Kendra Pierre-Louis.
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The podcast episode of Warm Regards that Justine mentions is “Apocalyptic Narratives, Climate Data, and Hope, with Zeke Hausfather and Diego Arguedas Ortiz”
The history of objectivity is arguably one of the “great confusions of journalism.” In the early 20th century, reporter Walter Lippman and editor Charles Merz contended that objectivity is a practice akin to the scientific method. “The method is objective, not the journalist.”
More recently, plenty of folks have commented on problems with “bias” in journalism, including Lewis Raven Wallace, Wesley Lowery, and Sam Sanders, who wrote, “The avoidance of the ‘perception’ of ‘bias’ ultimately means the only reporters to be trusted are those whose lives haven’t been directly touched by the issues and struggles they’re covering. And you [know] what that means.”
Julia Pyper’s podcast Political Climate
Post Script Media, Stephen Lacey’s podcast company
How cable TV covered climate change in 2021.
Nate Johnson, a former journalist who left Grist to become an electrician, featured on How to Save a Planet.
Kendra Pierre-Louis spoke in greater depth about her career and what it’s like to be a Black woman in journalism with Mary Annaïse Heglar and Amy Westervelt on Hot Take.
The Yale Climate Opinion Maps find that 72% of Americans believe in global warming, although just 33% report hearing about climate in the media at least once a week. You can explore the data and see how climate attitudes vary by state and county.
For Sarah Miller, all the right words on climate have already been said. “I could end this story by saying ‘We kept swimming and it was beautiful even if it will all be gone someday,’ or some shit, but I already ended another climate story that way. I have, several times, really nailed that ending… Writing is stupid. I just want to be alive.”
Special thanks to Nate Johnson and Peter Howe
Host: Nate Hegyi
Reported, produced, and mixed by Justine Paradis
Editing and additional mixing by Taylor Quimby
Additional editing: Rebecca Lavoie, Nate Hegyi, Felix Poon, and Jessica Hunt
Executive Producer: Rebecca Lavoie
Music: Sarah the Illstrumentalist, Daniel Fridell, baegel, FLYIN, Smartface, Silver Maple, By Lotus, 91nova, Moon Craters, Pandaraps, and Blue Dot Sessions
Theme Music: Breakmaster Cylinder