Alison Phillips: Why I dedicated an issue of The Mirror to highlighting the climate crisis
The Mirror devoted the whole of its Thursday edition to the climate crisis.
Throughout the paper and across the website, we reported from Britain and around the world on the impact of global warming.
We told the stories of those already being affected by excessive heat, floods, wildfires and rising sea levels.
This included reports from Hudson Bay in Canada, sub-Saharan Africa and Gurugram, India - the world’s most polluted city.
The issue also saw the launch of the MirrorMillionTrees campaign which invited readers to do their bit by planting a tree.
The red top even changed the colour of its masthead for the day to become the country’s first “green top.”
And in true tabloid style we mixed great reporting with celebrity features and easily-accessible facts and graphics.
The contents ran from page one - featuring a baby born in Liverpool just hours before we went to press - to the sports pages at the back and included a special green jobs page, letters page and a motoring column on electric vehicles.
The motivation behind the edition was to explain to our readers why the climate crisis is “everybody’s issue.”
At the moment the discussion about global warming is often limited to a few broadsheets and niche broadcast programmes.
The Mirror wants this to be a national conversation.
We want our readers to be properly informed about the facts surrounding what is going on in our planet.
The coverage also reflected the Mirror’s long and proud history of campaigning for social justice and the environment.
Those most likely to suffer from the impact of the climate crisis will be those least equipped and worst placed to cope.
The fact that our edition was published against the backdrop of the floods in Yorkshire and Venice and the wildfires in Australia and California only underlined why we believe we are right to focus on what we believe is the most important issue of our time.
I know some media watchers will think it’s a gimmick, a stunt or a bit of green virtue signalling. Quite frankly as long as our readers think it’s informative journalism which helps them understand what climate crisis means to them and their kids, I don’t care what anyone else thinks.
For as I wrote in a letter to readers: ‘The Mirror and our readers have never yet dodged a fight to do the right thing. And there’s no doubt climate crisis is the biggest fight we have ever faced.
Alison Phillips is the editor of The Mirror
This week, The Drum also announced the winners of its Social Purpose Awards, which can be viewed here.