OTTAWA / June 19, 2019 / CNW — The Canadian Association of Journalists recognizes that the urgency of climate change, and the public’s right to know about how governments respond to an important national conversation, requires news organizations to rethink their best practices on climate reporting.

An open letter published by former CAJ vice-president Sean Holman called several journalism associations, as well as news editors, publishers and station managers, to task for inadequately responding to a global climate emergency. Holman’s letter implored journalists to adopt an action plan that would “properly place, cover, contextualize, and localize the biggest story of our time, and hold public and private institutions to account for their actions and inactions on climate change.”

“We always argue that journalists should follow the truth, no matter where it leads,” said CAJ president Karyn Pugliese. “Of course reporters should offer proper context and hold the powerful to account, whether they’re covering climate or any other urgent public issue.”

The CAJ publishes ethics guidelines for journalists, which were first published in 2011 and serve broadly as best practices that are regularly incorporated into newsroom policy and journalism school curriculums. The CAJ National Board has asked its ethics advisory committee, the stewards of the guidelines, to make recommendations on how journalists can most responsibly report on climate change. In the interim, the CAJ trusts individual news organizations will use language they deem necessary to convey the urgency of climate change in the most accurate way.

The Canadian Association of Journalists is a professional organization with more than 700 members across Canada. The CAJ's primary roles are public-interest advocacy work and professional development for its members.

For more information:

Karyn Pugliese, CAJ president

[email protected]


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