NPR, NatGeo Tag-Team Climate Change


On May 1, NPR and National Geographic teamed up to launch a yearlong series called Climate Connections, a massive effort to report on the effects global warming is having across the planet and things people can do to help. If you haven't been following the series, available here and here, it's worth taking a look, and a listen.

The series is a great example of how news organizations can use both new media and old (radio, print, Web, video, audio slideshows, podcasts – they pretty much hit them all) in order to reach out to consumers and make an incredibly complicated issue easy to understand. With their partnership, National Geographic and NPR will be able to share content and resources to improve their coverage of the day's most important issues. For example, NPR.org can now add stories from the magazine online, and National Geographic will produce a monthly report to air on public television that features reporting from NPR correspondents on public television stations across the country.

 

Because it has multiple shows putting out stories every day, NPR has already contributed some particularly impressive reporting and analysis to the series. From the parched coast of Spain to the camel herds of Australia, NPR's correspondents have traveled far and wide to file stories on the series' tagline: "How we are shaping climate. How climate is shaping us." But that's not to say National Geographic has been slouching either: The publication recently ran a lengthy story on the impact of thawing ice "from Greenland to Antarctica." And I always like to see listener feedback being taken into account, as in this story addressing questions about the series.

The Web portion may be the most innovative segment of Climate Connections, and NPR really tried to use computer technology in some interesting ways. I was especially impressed by the interactive map that shows you just how global global warming is in its causes and effects. Also entertaining is this series of videos explaining carbon's role in the greenhouse effect. I haven't been able to figure out if it's supposed to be for children or not, but I like it either way.

Bonus shout-out: Anyone fiending for some good environmental coverage once Climate Connections is over needn't fear. Public Radio International's show "Living On Earth," brings you an hour of breaking and in-depth eco news every week. Check here to see if your local public radio station carries the show, and give them a call if they don't.

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