Target: Jarl Mohn, CEO of National Public Radio
Goal: Restore coverage of important environmental and climate change issues on National Public Radio
National Public Radio (NPR) recently gutted its environment and climate reporting staff, shrinking the team from three full-time reporters and one editor to just one part-time reporter. As climate change and its effects become devastatingly visible, this is a truly baffling and disturbing development from a media outlet that millions rely on daily for comprehensive news coverage. Founded as an organization that would “address national concerns,” NPR is all but ignoring one of the greatest concerns facing the Unites States and the world today.
Anne Gudenkauf, supervising editor of NPR’s science desk, explained the move saying that the environment did not require “dedicated reporters,” and would receive enough attention as part of other reporters’ coverage. However, Gudenkauf also admitted that reducing the staff was part of an effort to shift coverage to other areas instead. NPR’s pieces tagged as “environment” steadily declined over the last year, and can only be expected to drop further as a result of this staff reduction.
The New York Times also drastically decreased the size of its environment-focused team recently, but later went back on the move and returned to previous numbers, admitting that more staff were needed to cover an issue of such significance.
NPR’s slashing of its environmental reporting team comes as yet another instance in a larger trend of increasingly insufficient or outright false news coverage on the issue of climate change. Millions of Americans — often the top contributors to the process of climate change itself – are led to doubt its validity, and the crucial steps needed to address this issue are further delayed.
Last September, hundreds of thousands of people — including more than 100 world leaders — attended the People’s Climate March in New York City, with 2,646 solidarity events held in 162 countries worldwide. The fact that NPR can assume such a monumental issue of national and international concern needs no more than a single part-time reporter is shocking and unacceptable. Sign the petition below to demand that NPR give Americans the information they need about the environment.
Dear Mr. Mohn,
Climate change and the environment are extremely important and increasingly pressing issues that are of immediate concern to every American, as well as all people worldwide. NPR’s recent and drastic reduction of its environment and climate staff is thus alarming and greatly distressing.
The hundreds of thousands that massed in New York for the People’s Climate March are a testament to the growing awareness of climate as an enormously important issue of our time. As an organization created for the purpose of providing comprehensive news on matters of public interest, NPR is neglecting its foundational principles by downsizing environmental and climate coverage.
I am urging you to reverse NPR’s decision to downsize its team reporting on environment and climate-related issues. Please ensure that Americans receive the news they need to be informed about these topics that so directly impact our nation and the world.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: HonestReporting via flickr