Covering Climate Now – A New Era for Journalism?

Talk Tuesday 17th September, 7:00PM

More than 170 news outlets from around the world have signed up for Covering Climate Now, a project aimed at strengthening the media’s focus on the climate crisis in the lead-up to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23rd.

In the UK, climate coverage has started to move up the mainstream news agenda. On 21st August, the front page of London’s Evening Standard announced “Climate Change Fear Gripping Britain” highlighting a poll which showed 85% were worried about global warming. Days earlier ITV’s flagship News at Ten made the rare decision to lead the programme with reports from their new climate series Earth On The Edge, “to make people sit up and take notice”. In July Sky News appointed its first dedicated Climate Change Correspondent to set the agenda on the climate crisis.

Is the news media finally acknowledging the need for more urgent, widespread coverage on the climate crisis? Has its language around the climate issues changed? And with the UN now declaring a Dramatic Climate Emergency, do these new initiatives signal the beginning of a bold new commitment to climate coverage from editors and journalists – or is this just 2019’s hot topic?

Journalist and broadcaster Lucy Siegle brings together leading editors, journalists and influencers to find out what’s changed, what’s new and what’s the [long-term] plan? Are we witnessing the start of a new era for climate coverage?


Lucy Siegle has focussed on social and environmental justice in her reporting for a number of years. She has extensive experience in humanising environmental science, from climate change to consumer energy use. In 2004, Lucy created the Observer Ethical Awards (OEAs), dubbed the Green Oscars, which have been running for over eight years. She is a regular columnist for The Observer, Presenter for BBC’s ‘One Show’ and contributor to Radio 4’s ‘Today Programme’.


Manuela Andreoni is Latin America editor for Diálogo Chino (Brazil), based in Rio de Janeiro. Her work as a reporter has been published by the The New York Times, the New Yorker Magazine, BBC Panorama, The Globe and Mail, Univision, Agência Pública and others. In 2016-18, she was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism and Columbia Journalism Investigations, in New York, and continues to work on cross-border investigations about Latin American issues.

Rachel Corp is Acting Editor and Head of Programmes at ITV News. ITV News is the multi award-winning, leading independent news service in the UK, produced by ITN. Previously she was Editor of 5 News, also made by ITN, as well as holding a number of senior editorial roles in ITV News, including Editor of ITV London News. She began her ITN career as a trainee, joining the Five News launch team, then worked extensively in the field across the UK and internationally for ITV News as well BBC News in the former Soviet Union.

George Monbiot is a British writer known for his environmental and political activism. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian, and is the author of a number of books, including Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (2000), Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding (2013) and Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics in the Age of Crisis (2017). He is the founder of The Land is Ours, a campaign for the right of access to the countryside and its resources in the United Kingdom.

Tom Mustill is a wildlife and science filmmaker and founder of micro-indie Gripping Films, which has recently trail-blazed low carbon high-impact film-making. He specialises in telling environmental stories that entertain and move people. His films with David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and environmental champions across the world have won over 20 international awards and include BBC Natural World smash-hits Kangaroo Dundee, The Bat Man of Mexico and Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants, which was nominated for an EMMY and he directed the special episodes of the BAFTA, RTS and Broadcast award winning series Inside Nature’s Giants. Designed to have impact outside of television they’ve been played to the EU Parliament and UN to encourage action on conservation and protecting the atmosphere’s Giants.

Barbara Speed is the i newspaper’s Acting Managing Editor. From autumn she will return to her role as Opinion editor, overseeing the paper and website’s columnists, comment and analysis pieces. She also writes a fortnightly TV review. Previously, she was a technology, housing and urbanism writer at the New Statesman. She has written for a wide range of publications including The Times, The Guardian, Private Eye, Prospect, Times Higher Education and Vice.