Climate change & storytelling: challenges for the (post) Covid-19 era

End of 2019: Climate change, technological innovation and sustainability are among the priority subjects for the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH) to cover, as they get increasing attention in the media and they have a prominent place in the EU policy agenda.

End of May 2020: European Parliament, Strasbourg: a hundred of young enthusiastic science communicators are supposed to attend the second edition of the summer school organised by the ESMH. On the menu: 4 days of workshops & talks with experts on climate change & environmental sustainability, ranging from EU policy to projects and ending up with a double session on ‘reporting & storytelling’, including a session in the European Youth Event (EYE 2020).

But only some months earlier – at the end of February 2020 – an unexpected challenge turns this scenario off as the Covid-19 outbreak strongly hits Europe. The ESMH event has to be cancelled, along with this year’s edition of the EYE.

As the Covid-19 epidemic quickly became a ‘pandemic’ and related growing concerns of public health understandably captured the attention of the media, science journalism needed to react (and adapt quickly) to the new context. In the past months, the coverage of the health crisis worldwide – from the origin of the virus to the effects on different aspects of life – shed some lights on the possible common grounds with the climate crisis.

This has opened the door to a reflection about the new challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis to the (already) complex task of reporting on environmental issues and telling stories about climate change. To treasure the expertise put together for the summer school, we decided to interview some of the reputable environmental reporters who were ready to travel to Strasbourg and share their experience with young media makers, to collect their insights gather their tips in light of the pandemic and current developments.

Alok Jha, Fiona Harvey and Luca De Biase kindly accepted the ESMH invite to talk to Elisabetta Tola and we are glad to present here three interviews on (the future of) science journalism & the role of environmental reporting. Aware that this could not replace a live, real time exchange between people on such a dynamic topic, we seized the opportunity to put down some valuable insights on our webpage, while waiting for better times to come.

Alok Jha Profil“Journalists, and particularly science journalists, need to be fair, transparent and analytical”

🔗 Interview with Alok Jha, science and technology correspondent at the Economist


Fiona Harvey Profil“A green recovery, after the Covid-19 crisis, is possible”

🔗 Interview with Fiona Harvey, environmental correspondent for ‘The Guardian’


Luca De Biase Profil“Great science journalism requires a methodology”

🔗 Interview with Luca De Biase, Journalist, Innovation editor at Il Sole 24 Ore and editor in chief at Nova24. Lecturer on Media Ecology at University Sant’Anna, Pisa, and Stanford University.

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