Is covering climate change going to be ultimate test of the value of journalism?

Journalist/activist (he says he is both) Bill McKibben made some important points last week as he accepted the Estlow Anvil of Freedom Award from the University of Denver in an event which RJI helped convene. He argues that that journalists have a responsibility to cover what’s significant, and that just because they have a point of view doesn’t mean they can no longer write credibly from a fact-based perspective.

Before he wrote in 1989 the first and most famous popular book about climate change, “The End of Nature,” Bill McKibben considered himself “a good journalist, and nothing more, for awhile.” But now the climate-change activist, founder of, is challenging fellow journalists — he still believes he is one — to see climate-change reporting as the ultimate test of journalism’s value.


This story reports on a 40-minute speech  by environmental activist and journalist Bill McKibben at a conference, “Journalism is Dead; Long Live Journalism,” organized by Journalism That Matters, and following his receipt on Aprl 3, 2013, of the “Anvil of Freedom” award from the Edward W. Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver. The full transcription of his speech may be downloaded as a PDF from HERE and an MP3 podcast of the talk is HERE.


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