Covering Climate: What’s Population Got to Do With It?

October 12, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

For online viewing, see the instructions below.

Please join the Environmental Change and Security Program, the International Reporting Project, and the Society of Environmental Journalists for a Journalist Roundtable discussion of

Covering Climate: What’s Population Got to Do With It?

Dennis Dimick, Executive Editor, National Geographic Magazine
Emily Douglas, Web Editor, The Nation
Andrew Revkin, Environmental Reporter, The New York Times (via video)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Reception Follows
6th Floor Flom Auditorium
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004 USA Webcast live at

Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation.

When the world’s climate experts gather in Copenhagen to solve the climate change puzzle, they will most likely be missing an important piece: global health and population dynamics. But ignoring these issues could mean not only overlooking potential solutions but also multiplying the suffering of those already most at risk.

Population growth’s effect on climate change has received considerable coverage in the media in recent weeks. Yet much of it lacks nuance. This is not surprising: reporters writing about global population-environment connections face significant barriers to in-depth coverage, including stovepiped beats, the shrinking news hole, and old-fashioned squeamishness.

What are the challenges facing science and environmental reporters as they prepare to cover what Andrew Revkin calls “the story of our time”? This roundtable will discuss past coverage and offer ideas and best practices for future stories on population-climate links, especially in light of the seismic shifts in the media industry. Panelists will also address how to pitch the stories to editors, grab the attention of readers and viewers, and spark a conversation at Copenhagen.

Dennis Dimick, executive editor of National Geographic magazine, was its environment editor and he continues to lead the magazine’s coverage of energy and climate issues. An Oregon native, Dimick grew up on a Willamette Valley farm and holds degrees in agriculture and agricultural journalism from Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Emily Douglas is the web editor at The Nation. Formerly an editor at RH Reality Check, the reproductive and sexual health online daily, she has written for The Nation, The American Prospect, Alternet, and elsewhere on reproductive health, women’s rights, and LGBT issues. She graduated from Harvard University.

Andrew Revkin has spent nearly a quarter century covering subjects ranging from Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami to the assault on the Amazon, from the troubled relationship of science and politics to climate change at the North Pole. He has been reporting on the environment for The New York Times since 1995. Revkin has a biology degree from Brown and a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia.

If you are interested, but unable to attend the event, please tune into the live or archived webcast at The live webcast will begin approximately 10 minutes after the posted meeting time. You will need Windows Media Player to watch the webcast. To download the free player, visit:

Location: Woodrow Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC (“Federal Triangle” stop on Blue/Orange Line), 6th Floor Flom Auditorium. A map to the Center is available at Note: Due to heightened security, entrance to the building will be restricted and photo identification is required. Please allow additional time to pass through security.

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