Letters to Editors of Inaccurate Reports on Population

April 2, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Population Media Center and Population Institute are collaborating in implementing a project to help notable figures write letters to editors and producers of news programs in response to inaccurate or inadequate coverage of the population component of events covered in specific news stories (such as climate change, water shortages, etc.). We would welcome your help.

Please email Bob Walker at Population Institute (rwalker@populationinstitute.org) when you see an article or broadcast news story that failed to mention population when it should have, or that gave misleading information about the impact of population growth on the issue being covered. The same is true for opinion pieces by papers and broadcasters that need a response.

As participants on this mailing list over the last five plus years have seen, there are many examples of journalists that fail to mention population growth when it is obviously a key factor in the subject being discussed. There are also journalists and editorial writers who celebrate population growth or who bemoan stabilization of population numbers in some developed countries, when it is clear to the ecologically minded that endless population growth is impossible.

Many on this list have written powerful letters to editors when such coverage has appeared. On the other hand, there are a number of experts on various related topics who do not have time to sit down and compose a letter in response to each journalistic lapse. And there are many of us who do not have time to monitor the news media for such stories. So we have assembled a panel of distinguished experts with widely known names who will craft letters in advance to cover such journalistic errors, and we have put in place a news media monitoring system to alert us when such letters need to go out promptly. We will alert the writers when a letter is needed and prepare the material to make it easy for them to print and sign the letter.

As I mentioned above, we would like your continuing help in identifying such stories, so that editors in the U.S. and globally will start to hear from key authorities when their institution issues an inaccurate or incomplete story.

Please alert Bob Walker at rwalker@populationinstitute.org when you see such a story or op-ed. And, if you think this Population mailing list should see the story, please let me know as well. We appreciate your participation in what has turned into a large network of population-concerned individuals around the planet.

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