June 05, 2021
Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope, Covering Climate Now
We honor Bill Moyers on his 87th birthday by running this excerpt from the recent story by Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope, the co-founders of Covering Climate Now. The title of their piece is “Call It What It Is: A Climate Emergency.”
“TV newsman Bill Moyers likes to tell the story of how Edward R. Murrow, the pre-eminent US broadcast journalist of his time, insisted on covering what became Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Murrow’s bosses at CBS News had other priorities; they ordered Murrow’s reporters to cover dance competitions in Hamburg, Paris, and London, explaining that Americans needed some happy news. Murrow wouldn’t do it. ‘It’ll probably get us fired,’ he told his colleagues, but he sent his correspondents to the German-Polish border; they arrived just in time to witness Hitler’s tanks and troops roar into Poland. Suddenly, Europe was at war. And Americans heard about it because journalists at one of the nation’s most influential news outlets defied convention and did their jobs. …
“We created Covering Climate Now in April 2019 to help break the media’s climate silence; Bill Moyers talked about Murrow at our inaugural conference.”
The authors go on to summarize the gains in climate emergency news coverage over the past two years, while emphasizing that the media must do much more. “That starts with telling the truth: about the climate emergency, its solutions, and how little time remains before it’s too late.” Yes, what Bill Moyers would do.