Climate change: why the Guardian is putting threat to Earth front and centre
After watching the Snowden film, I wanted to learn a little bit more about the Guardian as a news source. The long-time editor of the paper, Alan Rusbridger, wrote an article recently addressing the subject of climate change. He will be stepping down as editor this summer and as he looked back his only regret was not doing something more about this tough issue. So in his final months with the paper, every friday he will print articles with more resources to educate the public on this topic. I thought his point of view was really interesting and his true activist voice comes out in the article. He wants to take a stand and start a weekly series highlighting the climate crisis even though it is not typically thrown in the forefront.
You can read the full article here, but I am including some snippets from the article that show his activist point of view.
Journalism tends to be a rear-view mirror. We prefer to deal with what has happened, not what lies ahead. We favour what is exceptional and in full view over what is ordinary and hidden.
There may be other extraordinary and significant things happening – but they may be occurring too slowly or invisibly for the impatient tick-tock of the newsroom or to snatch the attention of a harassed reader on the way to work.
What is even more complex: there may be things that have yet to happen – stuff that cannot even be described as news on the grounds that news is stuff that has already happened.
For these, and other, reasons changes to the Earth’s climate rarely make it to the top of the news list. The changes may be happening too fast for human comfort, but they happen too slowly for the newsmakers – and, to be fair, for most readers.
The climate threat features very prominently on the home page of the Guardian on Friday even though nothing exceptional happened on this day. It will be there again next week and the week after. You will, I hope, be reading a lot about our climate over the coming weeks.
This summer I am stepping down after 20 years of editing the Guardian. Over Christmas I tried to anticipate whether I would have any regrets once I no longer had the leadership of this extraordinary agent of reporting, argument, investigation, questioning and advocacy.
Very few regrets, I thought, except this one: that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will probably, within the lifetime of our children, cause untold havoc and stress to our species.