Viewing: Red Flags
- How Science Works
- Sources and Experts: Where to Find Them and How to Vet Them
- Making Sense of Science Stats
- Editing for Story
- Editing Controversial Science
- Holding Science to Account
- Covering Health Care
- Climate and the Environment
- Fact-Checking Science Journalism: How to Make Sure Your Stories Are True
Illustrating Complex Science Stories
- The Role of Visuals in Science Journalism
- The Process of Building Science-Centric Graphics
- Strategies for Using Visuals to Put Breaking Science in Context
- Special Considerations for Data Visualization
- Uncertainty and Misinformation
- Editorial Illustration, Photography, and Moving Images
- Additional Reading and Resources
- About the Author
- Social Media and Reader Engagement
- About This Handbook
By Fen Montaigne / < 1 minute read
- Before assigning any article or video, an editor will want to ask, “What’s new here, and how does this proposal advance the story?” This is especially true with climate and the environment, because they are so intensively covered and the same issues come around again and again.
- Don’t do the same stories over and over. Several editors cited two subjects that have been covered ad nauseam. One is the resettlement of Isle de Jean Charles, a small community in Louisana’s Cajun country, because of rising seas and subsiding marshlands. The other is Shishmaref, an Inupiat village in Arctic Alaska, threatened by rising seas and erosion linked to a loss of sea ice. These were stories worth doing — the first dozen or so times. But the world doesn’t need another article on the same places. Global warming is changing the face of many communities, so find fresh angles in your backyard and cover those.
- Especially in environment and climate coverage, beware of advocacy that masquerades as reporting. A story or video will have more impact if it fairly presents all sides of an issue (an exception being the debate over whether human-caused climate change is real) and does not champion a cause.
- Beware of hyping one study or one technology. Put new developments in context, and examine highly touted solutions with some skepticism.
- Beware of stories that perpetuate stereotypes about certain communities or regions. As Lyndsey Gilpin notes, “Climate change is incredibly complicated, and humans are incredibly complicated, so stories that oversimplify things or make generalizations about a community obviously raise a red flag. I see this problem with some national reporters who parachute in and get their quote and leave.”