Special issue of Journalism Practice: Journalism, climate change, and reporting synergistic effects of the Anthropocene

Juliet Pinto's picture
Type of Call: 
Call for papers
September 1, 2020

This special issue of Journalism Practice looks at the complexities of communicating climate change and its daily outcomes often covered in the news, including widespread flooding, heat waves, brownouts, and climate migration, at a time when accelerating warming is spreading environmental change to populations across the globe. Environmental change is compounded by synergistic effects of global pandemics, evidenced by COVID-19 in 2020, and motivations of capitalism and consumption, population growth, conflict, and social contestation. Indeed, COVID-19 was an intersection of pollution, social behavior, mobility, and inequality, which journalists were forced to cover while also tracking the virus, death, and resiliency.


Transformations sweeping journalism industries and shifts in media-state relations around the world have led to tumultuous changes and challenges in how journalists are able to identify, cover, and explain the causes of climate change, the possible solutions, and predict environments of the future while dealing with a multitude of crises.


This special issue is spurred by a June 2020 workshop, UK Underwater, held by the Data Science Institute at Lancaster University in the UK (www.ukunderwater.co.uk) focused on developing collaboration between data and environmental scientists, citizens, students, educators, and journalists to create research- and science-based journalism about dangerous flooding in the UK. Their work contributes to this wider call for scholarship among several veins for the purposes of this call for papers:

*The state and future of environmental reporting during global political, economic, and social change

*The ability and challenges of reporting synergistic effects of global pandemics, climate change and impacts

*Critical practices in and outside of newsrooms that approach climate change challenges and solutions

*Journalistic coverage, inclusion, or marginalization of climate refugees and other communities effected by climate change

*Truth and trust related to data journalism about climate science

*Engaged and innovative collaborations between citizens, educators, journalists, policy-makers, and others to tell stories of climate change

*Diverse and international approaches of journalism related to global warming and environmental change

*Best practices and ethical questions associated to addressing journalistic, technological, scientific, and social challenges of covering climate change, environmental science, health disparities, and social impacts

*Empirical and conceptual pieces that further the understanding of climate change journalism, related concepts, and practices

*Perspectives on the future of covering climate change and Anthropocene from perspectives of mobile technologies, data science, visualization, and immersive storytelling

*Critical perspectives on journalism’s contribution to or balancing of dis- and mis-information about climate change, the role of celebrity in covering environmental issues, and the socio- and cultural politics involved in such reporting

*Theoretical and empirical perspectives are welcome, as are global perspectives and articles that represent issues of race, gender, and cultural perspectives related to today’s television practice and scholarly approaches for tomorrow.

Articles should be no more than 9,000 words in length, including references. Please submit an abstract (400 words or less, not including references) and 2-3 suggested reviewers no later than 1 September 2020 to r.gutschejr@lancaster.ac.uk. Providing the abstract meets the criteria for the call, full manuscripts are due 1 March 2021 when they will be peer-reviewed and considered for acceptance.