Mother Jones to Lead Lefty Reporting Effort on Global Warming
With cap-and-trade legislation stalled in Congress and an important climate change summit coming up in Copenhagen in December, Americans just arenâ€™t as convinced as they should be that a) thereâ€™s evidence the planet is warming (57 percent), b) that warming is a serious problem (35 percent) and c) that humans cause it (36 percent). All those numbers have fallen significantly from their peak a couple of years ago.
Luckily, a thereâ€™s no shortage of â€śjournalistsâ€ť standing up to fight this deplorable trend. Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, co-editors of the left-wing magazine Mother Jones, announced on the publicationâ€™s Web site that â€śweâ€™re forging a collaboration with a range of news organizations â€“ magazines, online news sites, nonprofit reporting shops, multimedia operations.â€™ The purpose? To â€śsynthesize disparate data pointsâ€ť and coordinate coverage of â€śthe most important story of our time.â€ť
Further down, the editors wrote:
We're also part of a team reporting effort focused on the critical
In an interview with Advertising Age, Jeffrey said the â€ślikely participants at the initial meeting will likely include Slate, Grist, The Atlantic, Wired, Pro Publica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, MoJo of course, and maybe one or two others.â€ť
Thatâ€™s an interesting lineup. Pro Publica calls itself an â€śindependent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.â€ť According to its Web site, it does its reporting â€śin an entirely non-partisan and non-ideological manner, adhering to the strictest standards of journalistic impartiality. We wonâ€™t lobby. We wonâ€™t ally with politicians or advocacy groups.â€ť Of course, Pro Publica was also â€śfunded with an initial $10-million grant from The Sandler Foundationâ€ť according to a blog run by the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. The Sandler Foundation is known for funding liberal causes.
In explaining the initiative for Mother Jonesâ€™ readers, Bauerlein and Jeffery wrote of global warming, â€śWithout drastic action, by the time our kids reach their 40s, the Southwest will have become a dust bowl; 30 percent of the planet's species will be extinct; 200 million people will have become climate refugees.â€ť The problem is of such importance that â€śOur kids will measure us by how long we tarried. What will we tell them?â€ť
That sounds suspiciously like the language of an advocacy group, rather than journalists, but maybe Pro Publica has no ear for the Orwellian. No word on whether the independent journalists at Pro Publica get complimentary Mother Jones climate change covers with their kidsâ€™ pictures on them.
Asked about how the collaboration will work, Jeffrey told Advertising Age, â€śIt remains to be seen â€“ and much is dependent on how much money can be raised â€“ whether there will be all-in group reporting projects, side collaborations amid partners, more of a blog carnival approach, a group feed â€“ likely any and all of those combinations.â€ť