Make ‘em Sizzle: Turn Up the Heat on Slow Environmental Stories

Make ‘em Sizzle: Turn Up the Heat on Slow Environmental Stories

H2) Make ‘em Sizzle: Turn Up the Heat on Slow Environmental Stories


Covering the slow-burn, unsexy stories of long-term environmental crises can be a greater challenge than ever for science journalists working in a 24/7 news cycle. Too often coverage bends inexorably to the drama of more gripping immediate news events, from the latest election to the devastation from natural disasters. Meanwhile, the smoke from biomass cookstoves kills millions each year, the Amazon rainforest is clearcut to make room for livestock, and humanity confronts myriad impacts of unprecedented climate change. How do we best project these vital yet often scientifically challenging stories to the public in a compelling way?

Bringing together editors, journalists and researchers from Asia, Africa and the Americas, this panel will be an engaging discussion about how to get readers/viewers/listeners on-board with stories that aren’t always about politics or pocketbooks. With speakers from around the globe, we hope to shed light on how best to cover obstinate environmental stories — about food, energy, water and more — that transcend political and geographic boundaries. Whether covering stories for a local or international audience, or both, attendees will benefit from hearing the complementary and perhaps contradictory views of the panelists.

Wanting to break out beyond journalists speaking to journalists, our selection of panelists aims to cover the spectrum of people who are engaged in coverage of these slow-burn stories. Jen Burney represents the researchers who are deepening the knowledge about how to address issues such as clean cookstoves and agricultural changes in a time of climate change. Gustavo Faleiros adds the journalist’s perspective from his view in the Amazon while Subhra Priyadarshini speaks as the editorial gatekeeper of stories in India. As moderator and author of a book that explored many of these issues in the context of India, Meera Subramanian will guide this thought-provoking session.