‘Flood the News’ wreaks physical climate crisis damage on the front pages of 41 publications

To get the media to call attention to one of the globe’s biggest issues ahead of the Climate Action Summit on 23 September, the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) and The Nation have teamed up on a joint exhibition project called #CoveringClimateNow.

The project starts today (16 September). During the week leading up to the summit, more than 220 publications from around the world have pledged to ‘flood the news’ with climate crisis stories in a united effort to call the world to action.

To kick off the initiative, CJR teamed up with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and TBWA\Chiat\Day New York to inspire influential journalists to bring the climate crisis to the front page with a ‘Flood the News: Bringing the Climate Change Crisis to the Front Page,’ immersive art exhibit.

The exhibit will feature front pages of global newspapers physically treated to reflect the looming impacts of the climate crisis, like rising seas, intensifying heatwaves, declining snowpack, increased pollution, and extreme wildfires.

For instance, the Las Vegas Sun has been bleached to showcase the rising temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions in the city: according to Climate Central, Las Vegas has been one of the fastest-warming cities in the United States, and far worse lies ahead if greenhouse gas emissions aren't sharply cut.

“Covering Climate Now will be the biggest ever [push] to mobilize the world’s press around the coverage of a single topic,” said Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, in a short video promoting the movement.

The exhibit opens to the public 17 September at the Foley Gallery in Manhattan, at 59 Orchard Street. It was produced in collaboration with visual artist, Joan Wong.

A press kit created for the movement clearly explains to editors the problems tied up in climate change coverage. The top shows on the major networks spent a combined total of only 142 minutes reporting on the climate crisis, for instance.

The campaign also notes that when the media does cover climate issues, it is often as a political issue.

“I hope the public, members of the press and climate activists take the opportunity to experience and see Joan’s striking artwork,” said Pope in a release. “The works bring to life some of the most devastating climate events in recent memory, from droughts to fires to record temperatures.

"The exhibit is an urgent call to action for more global coverage of climate change.”

The exhibition helps kick off CJR’s and The Nation’s Covering Climate Now initiative, through which more than 200 news organizations have committed to report on climate change in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit.

The news outlets involved include major newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasters, and global news and photo agencies in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

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