October 28, 2014

The New York Times

In a Times Insider interview, Adam Bryant, The New York Times’ new environment editor, answers the question “To what extent should we feel obligated to include the views of climate change skeptics?”

“Claims that the entire field of climate science is some kind of giant hoax do not hold water, and we have made a conscious decision that we are not going to take that point of view seriously,” Bryant replies. He continues:

At the same time, there is a huge amount of legitimate debate and uncertainty within mainstream science. Scientists are pretty open about not being sure how bad things will get, or how quickly. These are the valid scientific issues and uncertainties that we want to cover.

Bryant also says a recent Justin Gillis story “provides a good example of providing informed second opinions on a topic.”

In his piece, Justin quoted an expert who has often been skeptical of claimed links between weather events and global warming in the past. But in this new study we were reporting on, he said the evidence was strong. That insight is more useful to readers than quoting someone who believes the entire field of study is built on a pillar of sand.

In 2013, the Times merged its environment pod with its science desk and shuttered its Green blog. Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote last November that she found the Times had subsequently covered climate issues less, but she recently called the Times’ new enviro team “very good news.”

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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