Covering Climate Collaborative

Climate change may be a planet-sized problem, but it is no longer distant in time or place. Our audiences are experiencing its impacts locally, right now. Now is the moment for local climate journalists to lead.

LMA launched the Covering Climate Collaborative on Earth Day 2021 to support and amplify the work of local newsrooms reporting on this critical issue. These newsrooms will lead the way in moving local climate coverage beyond the silo of a narrow “beat,” to better connect the ways in which climate intersects with and impacts other local issues, whether they are health issues or infrastructure policy decisions or, importantly, making the vital connection between climate and social justice. Far too often, the harmful effects of climate change fall disproportionately on communities of color, and that story must be told.

The participating newsrooms share climate reporting and collaborate on joint storytelling projects in ways that take full advantage of the cross-platform skills of the collaborative, which includes print, digital, radio and broadcast newsrooms. Coordinating storytelling efforts across text, audio and video is the best way to meet audiences where they are.

Finally, these newsrooms benefit from the expertise of key science and journalism partners committed to excellence in climate reporting. From organizations like Climate Matters and SciLine to Solutions Journalism Network, these newsrooms will be able to tap trustworthy experts who can communicate clearly the science of climate change. LMA regularly shares case studies and reporting from the collaborative to help all local newsrooms looking to more and better climate coverage.

Here are recent articles highlighting the collaborative and climate coverage initiatives.

Observations from SEJ: Connecting extreme weather and climate change

It looked to me like every hand in the room was raised. The question I asked to start our Society of Environmental Journalists panel on climate change and extreme weather was: “Have you experienced an extreme weather event in the community where you report, in the past year?” Climate change is a global threat. Yet […]

Covering Climate Collaborative expands with new members across U.S.

On the global anniversary of Earth Week, Local Media Association is excited to announce the expansion of the Covering Climate Collaborative, a partnership among local newsrooms reporting on climate change and six science partners. As the collaborative celebrates its second anniversary, we’ve added newsrooms in key states to better cover the story of climate change […]

Story-sharing tool drives digital traffic for Climate Collaborative

A platform built to simplify and automate story sharing in news collaboratives drove significant additional digital audiences to local news sites in the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative, according to a new report from Distributed Media Lab. Local Media Association received support from the Google News Initiative in Fall 2021 to explore how technology could be […]

A new way to automate story-sharing in news collaboratives

Collaboration comes with numerous potential benefits for local news organizations — including shared resources, more reach, and greater depth of reporting. But workflow and logistics can reduce the scale of those wins. For shared content, web editors might find themselves in the labor-intensive processes of copying and pasting stories, chasing down image rights clearances, or […]

5 things we learned in the first year of the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative

It’s been one year since Local Media Association launched the Covering Climate Collaborative on Earth Day 2021. With the effects of climate change touching people’s lives ever more directly, this anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve learned, and what more can be done. Here are five takeaways and lessons […]

Better together: How science partnerships enhance local climate reporting

The challenges facing local news organizations are well documented, from revenue disruption and staffing cuts to debunking misinformation, all exacerbated by the pandemic. Those challenges can be even greater when it comes to reporting on climate change because of the need to get the science right, and the constant pull of breaking news. One way […]

LMA Covering Climate Collaborative awarded GNI funding to build story-sharing platform

Local Media Association has been awarded $200,000 in funding from the Google News Initiative to pilot and develop story-sharing technology for the LMA Covering Climate Collaborative. LMA will partner with Distributed Media Lab to develop and curate story sharing tools that can be used by the 23 local newsrooms in the climate collaborative to expand […]

From ‘watchdog’ to ‘guide dog’: How Covering Climate Collaborative engages audiences with solutions reporting

It’s been a bad-news summer for climate change. From the “code red for humanity” headline from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report to a summer filled with heat waves, drought, wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding, the effects of climate change are here, now and local. But research shows audiences may disengage from news — from […]


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