3 to Read: Lessons from COVID-19 | New Standards for Climate Coverage | A Story for Every Beat

In celebration of Earth Day, this week’s newsletter focuses on the future of covering climate change

Lessons from COVID-19: Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope for CJR draws similarities between covering the outbreak of COVID-19 and the climate crisis. They argue that the climate crisis is an issue that should be covered by journalists in the same way that journalists are dealing with COVID-19: with urgency. Originally published under the series of CJR’s Covering Climate Now, they highlight other newspapers that have agreed to make their climate coverage free of charge in an effort to make it more accessible to the public.

Setting New Standards for Climate Coverage: Evlondo Cooper and Allison Fisher for Media Matters writes about Covering Climate Now, an initiative started by CJR. Not only does Covering Climate Now unite journalists in providing resources that will aid in reporting the crisis, it also provides a local platform for the climate crisis. In recent years, climate journalism has begun to take precedent as society and the media have begun to take more interest and attention to the crisis at hand. Namely, 2018 was the year that set up the initiative for Covering Climate Now, and 2019 was the year where climate journalism had the most improvement. Read more about this ongoing initiative here.

Climate Crisis is a Story for Every Beat: Historically, climate coverage has been under the science and environmental beats, writes Rosalind Donald for CJR. However, in recent years, society and journalists have begun to see how climate journalism touches a broad range of beats such as the economy or public health. Despite this analysis, coverage still seems to lack as other topics take precedent over this topic, especially in countries that are not as interested in understanding the climate crisis. In this article, Donald highlights some of the issues that still arise when trying to increase climate coverage in newsrooms, especially in climate policy. 


3 to Read: Flattening the Curve | Tracking the Outbreak | 9 Charts on the Economy

Despite the abundance of information and data regarding COVID-19, journalists are using data visualisation more than ever to present this information as clear and precise to the public as possible. 

Simulating Flattening the Curve: Flattening the curve slowly became a common phrase heard on the news. But for many, it may have been hard to understand why exactly social distancing would lead to flattening the curve. Using simulations that readers can interact with, Harry Stevens for the Washington Post designed an article meant to show how social distancing can impact and decrease the spread of COVID-19. The simulation visually explains the importance of social distancing, an important tool to educate readers in times of confusion. 

Tracking the Global Outbreak: The Visual and Data Journalism Team for BBC News has accumulated data from several different sources such as Johns Hopkins University and WHO to put together a series of maps and charts that are tracking the spread of COVID-19. Some of the charts compare globally in different countries in terms of cases, recoveries and deaths, while others highlight the change in movements in different cities. In a global pandemic, comparisons between countries can provide useful exposure to how other countries are handling the crisis and connects the readers on a global scale. 

9 Charts Showing what Coronavirus is doing to the Economy: COVID-19 has not only social and public health impacts, it also has had a dire effect on the economy. With the stock market crash and all non-essential businesses being closed, the economy has taken a toll. Dylan Matthews for Vox compiles nine charts that show the impact on the U.S. economy. Visuals range from data on rise in unemployment, recession and the impact on the Dow. These charts provide clarity and comprehensibility to readers who receive an intense flow of information about the economy daily. 

3 to Read: Female Journalists | Women & Leadership | Safety Apps

As March comes to an end, it also marks the end of Women’s month. Due to the intense coverage of COVID-19, women around the world may not have been celebrated as much as they should be recognized. So let’s take week’s newsletter to take stock of where the world of female journalists stands. 

Behind the First Female Political Reporters in the UK: Kate Proctor for the Guardian highlights the important work done by some of the first female journalists in the United Kingdom. For instance, Marguerite Cody of Daily News and Miss E Cohn (first name forever lost in the mists of history) of the Central News agency were the first female reporters to have been granted permission to watch Parliamentary proceedings in Westminster. The story reflects the attitude towards women in journalism during the early 1900s, and it isn’t pretty. But it’s an interesting read. 

Women and Leadership in the News Media 2020: Evidence from Ten Markets: Reuters takes a peek at the data on female leadership in newsrooms. The work, by Simge Andi, Meera Selva and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, finds among other things, that 23% of the top editors across the 200 major outlets are women — but on average, 40% of journalists in the ten markets are women. Much of the information states that women are still underrepresented in leadership roles in newsrooms and news media, despite the fact that they are growing in numbers in the newsrooms themselves. Visual graphs of the data can also be found via this article. 

Can an App Help Make Female Journalists Safer?: JSafe, a new app founded by Kat Duncan from Reynolds Journalism Institute, is targeted for female journalists who may be in danger of physical threats or harassment during their jobs. According to Euronews, this app allows female journalists who feel threatened to submit a form where they can report harassment they are experiencing, and provide photo or video evidence. The also app allows them to grade the level of threat they are feeling, whether it be minor or severe.