The Listening Post

Media and climate change: Why we need a total overhaul

We examine the alarming UN climate report and the state of climate reporting today. Plus, exporting Orban’s media model.

On this week’s The Listening Post: The UN’s new climate report says “unprecedented changes” are needed now, so how should the media change? Plus, Viktor Orban’s media allies eye outlets outside Hungary.

Climate change: Do we need a total media overhaul?

Only a small proportion of news consumers will have heard about the report released earlier this month by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. Not because the report was dull or inconsequential but because the global media is still proving unable – or unwilling – to grapple adequately with the story of our warming planet.

With scientists agreed that the world has just 12 years left to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, coverage of the IPCC report was a flash in the pan – an initial wave of headlines receding as quickly as they emerged.

Climate change is the world’s most significant existential challenge and those who want to cover it are still wondering how to convey its size and scale.

The Listening Post‘s Meenakshi Ravi reports on the coverage of the IPCC report and what it reveals about the state of climate reporting today.

Lisa Hymas – Director, Climate & Energy Program, Media Matters for America
Chandra Bhushan – Deputy director, Centre for Science and Environment; Consulting editor, Down to Earth
Alyssa Battistoni – Editorial Board member, Jacobin
Martin Lukacs – Environment writer, The Guardian

On our radar

Barbara Serra speaks to producer Flo Phillips about how the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi is putting Washington Post contributors under the spotlight; as well as three more journalists arrested in Myanmar under another colonial-era law.

Exporting Hungary’s media model 

After two consecutive terms in power, and another landslide election victory this past April, there seems to be little that can threaten the rule of Viktor Orban in Hungary.

However, the project to consolidate his power over the media is still in progress. In the eight years since Orban’s Fidesz party swept to victory in 2010, numerous media outlets have been shut down or seen drastic changes in their editorial line, often after changes in ownership.

This is why alarm bells rang last month when Orban allies closed in on, the last remaining outlet read and respected on both sides of Hungary’s political divide.

Hungary watchers are also observing how the Orban media model is gaining a foothold in countries such as Macedonia and Slovenia where Orban allies are promoting the Hungarian Prime Minister’s pan-European agenda through media investments.

The Listening Post‘s Will Yong reports.

Agnes Urban – Economist, Mertek Media Monitor
Gabor Miklosi – Editor-in-chief,
Zselyke Csaky – Senior researcher, Freedom House
Akos Keller-Alant – Journalist, Magyar Narancs
Sandra Basic-Hrvatin – Head of Media Studies, University of Primorska