The Listening Post

Covering Climate Now: Will the media seize the moment?

A global network of 300+ media outlets ramps up climate coverage. And, the media activists reporting on Rio’s favelas.

On The Listening Post this week: A global network of more than 300 media outlets ramps up climate coverage ahead of next week’s United Nations summit. Plus, the community-based journalistic collectives covering Rio de Janeiro’s favelas.

Climate crisis: How mainstream media are part of the problem

Record heatwaves in Europe and Africa. Droughts in southern India on an unprecedented scale. Hurricanes – more frequent and violent than ever. And wildfires in, of all places, the Arctic.

The global news media are, after decades of looking the other way, finally waking up to what scientists have long called an emergency – climate change.

Take Covering Climate Now, an alliance across six continents of more than 300 media outlets, including Al Jazeera, currently running a week’s worth of climate coverage in the lead up to a summit on the subject in New York.

The shortfall in the coverage and the shortcomings expose the ugly, irresponsible side of modern journalism, particularly the corporate kind.

The Listening Post looks at how the mainstream media are part of the problem.

Lead contributors:

Mark Hertsgaard – co-founder, Covering Climate Now and Environment Correspondent, The Nation

Jayashree Nandi – environment reporter, Hindustan Times

Sipho Kings – news editor, The Mail & Guardian and Author, ‘South Africa’s Survival Guide to Climate Change’

George Monbiot – columnist, The Guardian

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about a high-profile Egyptian actor exposing cases of corruption by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and his inner circle; and the man who brought about the Brexit referendum and is now cashing in on it.

Document, mobilise, amplify: The media activists in Rio’s favelas

Consider what you know – or think you know – about the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

Perhaps you see them as the Brazilian media – and many international outlets – have depicted them: Lawless communities, virtual no-go zones for police, where the only realistic solution is a security show of force.

That prevailing picture works well for two politicians in particular: President Jair Bolsonaro and Rio’s Governor Wilson Witzel. Both have given police more authority to use lethal force in the favelas.

But The Listening Post‘s Tariq Nafi shows there is an alternative media narrative, emerging through community-based journalistic collectives like Papo Reto and Mare Vive.


Thaina de Medeiros – Papo Reto Media Collective

Naldinho Lourenco – Mare Vive Media Collective