Guest Essay by Kip Hansen
The Columbia Journalism Review, “The voice of journalism”, has been organizing and promoting “a project co-founded by CJR and The Nation aimed at strengthening the media’s focus on the climate crisis.” This effort is called “Covering Climate Now”.
I have covered this [propaganda] campaign before here at WUWT in an essay titled: “A National Narrative for Media on Climate Change”. In that essay, I promised to keep readers advised as to the progress they are making in signing up news outlets [co-conspirators] in their push to see that all news outlets are “running a week’s worth of climate coverage in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Sept. 23.”
When CJR and Covering Climate Now say “climate coverage” they mean specifically the type of stories featured at the project’s home page. None of the stories make any attempt at explaining climate change to the news consuming public. All could correctly be classified as advocacy for the IPCC Paris Agreement and the Green New Deal.
In a recent essay here, I bemoaned a “news media [that] spins further and further out of control, abandoning real journalism”. The CJR’s campaign is the finest example of this tendency to date. Their objective is NOT to cover the story of climate science or climate policy issues — local, regional, national or international — rather their interest is publicly declared as being “aimed at strengthening the media’s focus on the climate crisis.”
“At that meeting [the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Sept. 23] the world’s governments will submit plans to meet the Paris Agreement’s pledge to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius. ”
“The need for solid climate coverage has never been greater,” said Kyle Pope, CJR’s editor and publisher. “We’re proud that so many organizations from across the US and around the world have joined with Covering Climate Now to do our duty as journalists—to report this hugely important story.”
The Columbia Journalism Review has jumped the track — gone off the rails — and is violating the very essence of journalism. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics clearly states, first and foremost:
“Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.”
And specifically directs journalists to:
Label advocacy and commentary
Nothing in the SPJ Code of ethics calls for the creation of [secret] groups of news outlets dedicated to create a flood of advocacy stories on any topic. Advocacy is not the purview of journalists — it is the job of columnists and other opinion writers.
The lure of White Hat Advocacy has polluted what was once the bastion of professional journalism — reducing itself to the level of Greenpeace and other groups that have “admit[ed] that their campaign amounts to “hyperbole” that doesn’t adhere to “strict literalisms or scientific precision”. In other words, exaggerations and lies.” “Greenpeace publicly insists its claims are factual, but now, in formal legal filings in US Federal Court, calls its campaign more “figurative than literal” and blames the public for believing their “non-verifiable subjective opinion[s].”” [ source ]
“In the most dramatic cases, … deploy Rapid Response Teams to newsrooms tasked with covering extreme weather or disaster in their own backyards. In those cases, we’ll assist newsrooms, either in person or remotely, with additional reporting help as well as whatever scientific or other resources are needed for them to fully tell their story.”
Does this represent the beginning of the end of the Free Press in western civilization? Instead of promoting a Press with diverse and compelling coverage of the world’s most important issues, the Covering Climate Now cabal has now lined up “More than 170 news outlets from around the world with a combined audience of hundreds of millions of people” to follow through with a barrage of climate catastrophism news crammed into a single week. [ the full list is at the bottom of this link ]. CJR, The Guardian and The Nation will supply the narrative — a single united narrative for all 170 news outlets. They will all share and repeat the same advocacy viewpoint on climate change, climate crisis, and extreme weather. If the cabal is very lucky, Tropical Storm Dorian will develop into a major hurricane and hit Florida hard — feeding right into their narrative of catastrophe on climate.
In the past, journalists have resisted and fought back against being fed united narratives on world issues — usually pushing back against the governments of nations, national intelligence services, industry special interest groups and supra-national bodies such as the United Nations.
Now, the Columbia Journalism Cabal and its cronies are the special interest group pushing a [false] narrative — claiming it is their “duty as journalists—to report this hugely important story” — creating a wide and largely secret super-news-group to flood the airwaves, newspapers and the Internet news outlets with single viewpoint — a single advocacy position– on the climate issue. The public will not know that the massive news blitz was organized months in advance — nor will they know who, or why, they organized it. The Cabal will create the news-organization equivalent of a Twitter-storm — mobbing the general public with the same ethical values displayed in the sociopathic rantings we see every day on Twitter — disregard for truth, disregard for facts, disregard for multiple viewpoints, name-calling and shaming of any and all that do not agree with the story line being enforced by ideological mob-rule.
That, my friends, is not journalism. That is a mockery of journalism.
There remain but two weeks until this propaganda storm erupts across the world in the mass media and on blog and web sites, all seemingly independently. it will not, however, be independent coverage — it will be an orchestrated campaign of [biased and mis-] information.
Any journalist serious about his work would rush to call out this mockery — refusing to participate — doing his or her best to expose this travesty. Are there any Real Journalists still out there? Have you all been co-opted to act in the service of the CJR cabal?
# # # # #
Yes, I am distressed by this turn of events. I was a radio journalist in University — University of California at Santa Barbara — KCSB radio. I covered the police riots in Southern California during the late 1960s carrying a portable Sony reel-to-reel tape recorder into tear-gassed crowds and mobs of baton-wielding policemen to get the real story on anti-war protests. With my news-team partner, Matt, we blended the sounds of real world events with popular music to create news with impact . . . . Telling multiple sides of the story — the few violent radicals forcing the police to react violently and vice-versa; the little-old-ladies-in-tennis-shoes marching to save the lives of their grandsons. I would no more have accepted a story-line from a biased advocacy group than cut off my own hand.
If you are a journalist — with the necessary ethical equipment to speak out — do so here and in your professional work product. Don’t let this anti-journalism story go untold.
# # # # #