Climate (U.S. newsrooms and journalists)

A boy does schoolwork with a solar light for illumination

Solar lights are an example of a community-based, equity-focused, scalable climate adaptation strategy. Credit: Abir Abdullah / Climate Visuals Countdown

In an ideal world, journalists would be leading a global conversation on how to solve climate change. They would highlight what works, keep politicians and businesses accountable, and point to ways that governments, organizations, communities, and individuals are responding. Not every climate story can or should be focused on the response, but many of them should be, and most of them aren’t.

We’re working to change. Here’s how.

Climate solutions journalism initiatives

We collaborate with and support both individual journalists and newsrooms in improving and growing the practice of rigorous, community-informed and equity-focused climate solutions journalism. We started this work in 2020 with our Business and Sustainability Initiative, and since then we’ve supported 30+ newsrooms, trained hundreds of journalists, and amplified the impact of countless solutions journalism stories.

We have two current initiatives. Our Climate Solutions Cohort includes 20 fellows from every corner of the U.S. and with a broad range of experience and diversity of voices. These individuals -- both freelancers and staff writers -- are honing not only their own practice but also the practice of climate solutions journalism. You can check out their work here. Our Climate Beacon Newsroom Initiative includes nine newsrooms, ranging from a hyper-local community outlet to a national environmental publication. What these news outlets have in common is a determination to transform their coverage of the climate crisis so that it regularly includes rigorously-reported stories about solutions. More on what they’re up to here.

We’re gearing up to launch new programs and initiatives in Fall 2023, so check back for updates this summer.

Climate solutions reporting resources

This guide is a great resource for understanding how climate solutions journalism is truly beat agnostic. Published in partnership with Covering Climate Now.

Learn how to be prepared and report from a solutions lens in the middle of a natural disaster, especially when it happens where you live, from WMMT’s Katie Myers and informed by her experience after devastating Kentucky floods in 2022.

Climate solutions primers

We’ve recently launched a Climate Primer series. These topic-driven panels feature experts sharing their knowledge and insights for climate journalists through a solutions lens.

Our first Climate Primer was a three-part seminar series focused on carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The sessions were moderated by Aman Azhar, a Washington, D.C.-based journalist who covers environmental justice for Inside Climate News, and who is also a 2022-23 Climate Solutions Fellow for SJN.

Here are links to video highlights of the three seminars, summarizing key takeaways for journalists covering this important issue:

Holding Companies Accountable
How to spot greenwashing and climate injustice in carbon dioxide removal
Video Link

The Power and Pitfalls of Carbon Dioxide Removal
Separating possibility from the hype
Video Link

Nature-based Carbon Removal Methods
Scoping the potential and limits of organic approaches
Video Link

SJN also created a guide for covering CDR and some key research resources. For an overview of CDR, click here.

Our second Climate Primer was on Climate Data and Frameworks for Solutions Reporting. More than 250 journalists from around the world signed up to hear from Climate Central’s Bernadette Woods Placky and Project Drawdown’s Jonathan Foley on how and why the media must shift the climate conversation toward what’s working — both locally and at scale. You can watch it here.

Our climate team

Katherine Noble, initiative manager (climate beacons)

Angela K. Evans, climate network manager