Columbia Journalism Review editor leaving to encourage news outlets to devote more time to climate

FILE - A sign displays an unofficial temperature as jets taxi at Sky Harbor International Airport at dusk, July 12, 2023, in Phoenix. Phoenix, Arizonas most populous city, is in the record books again for notching a record for dry heat. The National Weather Service said Sunday, Oct 1, that the monsoon season this year in the arid Southwest dropped only 0.15 inches (.38 centimeters) of rainfall from June 15 to Sept. 30. Thats the driest since the agency began keeping records in 1895. (AP Photo/Matt York, File) (Matt York, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – Saying that journalism isn't showing enough urgency in covering climate change, the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review is leaving his job to devote his time to try and change that.

Kyle Pope, who has been editor and publisher of the magazine and website for journalists since 2016, said Tuesday that he is leaving to join Covering Climate Now, an organization he helped launch with Mark Hertsgaard, environment correspondent for The Nation.

Recommended Videos

Covering Climate Now works with newsrooms to prioritize coverage and train reporters, and is trying to convince more meteorologists to make the connection between climate change and their weather reports.

Pope said journalists need to bring the same focus to covering climate that they did to COVID-19 in the early days of that pandemic — perhaps not in the volume of stories but the sense that reporters on various beats need to be mindful of how climate change affects what they're following.

“Journalism still isn't devoting enough attention to the climate crisis,” Pope said. “It has not matched the scale of its coverage to the scale of what is going on in the world.”

During Climate Week this year, Covering Climate Now announced winners of its annual awards for climate coverage, and ran a conference at Columbia University.

Many news organizations have increased coverage of climate change in recent years as extreme weather events have made the topic more front and center for readers. The Associated Press launched its Climate and Environment team in early 2022, going from a half dozen reporters who covered climate to 25 around the world today.

Recommended Videos