World Federation of
Science Journalists


WFSJ Podcast #1 – Reporting on climate change and climate change policy
In December, the representatives of 190 nations will gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to hammer out the details of a new pact to fight climate change. The meeting will also attract scores of science journalists who are charged with the task of making stories about climate change policy interesting to their readers.

Richard Black, environment correspondent for the BBC website, says the landscape was simpler when journalists first began covering climate change policy. “There was the science, the environmental groups, and the politicians who weren’t doing very much. Now it’s carbon trading, flexible mechanisms, and greenwashing—it’s become a complicated beast,” he says.

Black has covered two UN climate change conferences and is a pro at finding the important--and interesting--stories. In this podcast he offers tips on reporting on climate change and how to make the most of the Copenhagen negotiations:
  • For a journalist covering climate change the story has become one of national security, energy, finance, and human survival. How can science journalists cover all this and do it well?
  • How can science journalists deal with the uncertainty of science in a responsible way?
  • Climate change issues are becoming political campaign issues. What can science journalists do to improve the way environmental issues are covered during elections?
  • Covering large climate change negotiations can be challenging. How can science journalists prepare for the Copenhagen meeting and what techniques can they use to develop fresh stories? Also, tips for first-timers covering the meeting. 

This episode features Creative Commons music:
“Revenge” by Spoon from THE WIRED CD
“The Growly Song” by Podington Bear

WFSJ podcast #1


Podcast Author

Hannah Hoag is a freelance science journalist based in Montreal, Canada. Her writing has been published in a variety of media, from Nature and New Scientist to National Geographic News and the Globe and Mail. She is also a contributor to (and occasional host of) Free Radicals, a radio show covering science & culture. Prior to becoming a full-time journalist in 2003, she did research on several rare diseases, and counted cloning, sequencing and Western blots among her top skills.

You can suggest future podcast topics by emailing Thanks for listening!