Since it formed in 2007 with the express purpose to be the source of record on climate news, the Daily Climate web operation has epitomized the good side of news aggregation. The term "aggregator' is often in bad odor due to the many sites that rob and rip from other agencies only to generate ad revenue while adding little or nothing of value. The Daily Climate does it as a service and nobly so, with full frank attribution. Aggregation can be a good thing. Plus the Daily Climate also wins prizes for its own staff reporting.
Thus, thank you Douglas Fischer, former newsman in the SF Bay Area, now in Bozeman MT with its impressive colony of other science and enviro writers. He has been editor of the Daily Climate right along. Ditto to his staff and to his publisher, Peter Dykstra of EnvironmentalHealthNews.org in Georgia.
The reason to gush over it is that today it published its impressive, annual quantitative analysis of how media worldwide covered climate science and climate news.
- Douglas Fischer: Climate coverage soars in 2013, spurred by energy, weather / Reporting on climate change by world media leapt 30 percent above 2012's effort as more reporters tied energy and environmental issues to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions, according to The Daily Climate's archives / A sharp-rebound from post-2009 slump.
As a good reporter, Fischer knows that specific examples outrebound unfocussed scuffling by a mile. An excerpt with a few lines of generality, then examples:
Last year The Daily Climate aggregated 24,000 news articles, opinions and editorials on climate change from "mainstream" media outlets globally. That's well above the 2012 low of 18,546 stories, but still below the highs from 2007 through 2009, when the Daily Climate aggregated an average of nearly 29,000 a year. . . Bloomberg News was up 133 percent, the Globe and Mail doubled its reporting, USA Today boosted its effort 48 percent and stories in the Wall Street Journal, Sydney Morning Herald and the Financial Post each were up 40 percent, according to The Daily Climate's archives.
Of the world's news outlets, Reuters led the pack in climate change coverage, with almost 1,100 news stories. Associated Press was second, with 1,030, followed closely by The Guardian, with 1,025.. . The New York Times, having dismantled its "green desk" in early 2013, was the only major publisher worldwide to see coverage drop in 2013, dipping 10 percent from 2012's level to 883.
In a smart and gracious touch, Fischer's first quote in his roundup is from the head of a sort-of rival site,
"The climate issue is not seen anymore as something that lives inside a green bubble," said David Sassoon, editor of the Pulitzer-prize winning news site Inside Climate News. More and more, he said, climate change "is intimately connected to every major energy and extreme weather story you'd care to look at. The dots are finally being connected more responsibly, something that's long overdue."
His report-story is well-worth a full reading. Of particular interest to tracker readers is his list of 80+ reporters who wrote the most stories, a list topped in a near tie by Ben Geman at The Hill, and Andrew Freedman at Climate Central, with 165 and 162 bylines respectively (maybe not completely listed, Climate Central does miss some). Fischer's diligence is further reflected in this remarkable graf:
Equally remarkable is the number of journalists who consistently produced 50 or more stories – one a week – for each of the past five years.
Fiona Harvey and Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian, Andrew Revkin and Matthew L. Wald of the New York Times, Alister Doyle of Reuters; David Biello of Scientific American, Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post and Bryan Walsh of Time Magazine all belong to that club.
Mass media are not what they used to be. Many good good reporters have lost jobs. The internet changed the game. But the age of digital media also makes it far easier for readers to wade into the entirety of what is still being reported – and for outfits such as The Daily Climate to see and to document patterns and trends. So while less news may be reported than in the old days, a diligent set of eyeballs now can see a far greater number and variety of reports. They arise from a still-vigorous and ever-rambunctious press corps in both old-style media and from the new generation of on line and multi-platform news hunters.