Make Sure Your Reporting Is Easy To Understand
On Road Media is a charity which works with media professionals to better inform their reporting on a range of topics including climate change. Their recently published guidance document sets out how to “change hearts and minds about climate change”.
“There are six things we recommend journalists to think about when they’re talking about climate change,” senior project officer Kate Llewellyn says. The most important, she underlines, is to make sure your reporting is easily understandable and doesn’t rely on specialist knowledge. “Research shows that jargon doesn’t just make people think ‘I don’t understand’, it actively pushes people away [and] makes people not want to be part of the conversation.”
They also advise framing stories carefully – make sure change feels do-able, that you’re not only looking at individual choices but the bigger picture, and that we don’t just tell stories about in-action. Instead, we want to normalise the narrative of change actually happening.
For Nimra, willingness to draw on the expertise of others is key to good climate journalism. “One of the best things about my team and Global Witness in general is that people come together from a range of expertise including policy, journalism and law,” she says. “A number of my colleagues speak French, Spanish, Portuguese and have a native knowledge of particular regions or financial specialisms.”