WJCT, News4Jax Announced As Members Of National Climate Coverage Collaborative

Apr 14, 2021


The Local Media Association has announced 22 news outlets from across the country, including Jacksonville’s own WJCT News 89.9 and WJCT News partner News4Jax, that will be participating in its new Covering Climate Collaborative. WJCT produces ADAPT, a digital magazine focused on how climate change is impacting Northeast Florida and what’s being done about it, and the ADAPT Newsletter. 

This new collaboration will help participating newsrooms focus on covering the local impacts of climate change and how communities are responding to it.

“We’re thrilled to announce this group of newsrooms that are recognized for their commitment to reporting locally on the impacts of climate change,” said Frank Mungeam, chief information officer for the Local Media Association (LMA), one of the largest local media trade associations in North America. “This collaboration brings together newsrooms with diverse platform expertise — from print to digital to audio and video — and represents key regions directly affected by our changing climate.”

The partners are grouped into five regional hubs:

East/Southeast

  • Florida: WJCT Public Media, WJXT-TV, The Miami Herald, WKMG-TV Orlando and Florida International University’s South Florida Media Network
  • North Carolina: The News & Observer
  • South Carolina: The Post & Courier

Gulf Coast

  • Louisiana: The Times Picayune and WWNO/WRKF Radio
  • Texas: KPRC-TV Houston and KSAT-TV San Antonio

Great Lakes

  • Illinois: WBEZ Chicago
  • Michigan: Great Lakes Echo at Michigan State University, Planet Detroit and WDIV-TV

Southwest

  • Arizona: ABC15-TV Phoenix
  • New Mexico: The Paper (Albuquerque) and NMPBS Public Radio

West

  • California: The Sacramento Bee, KGO-TV San Francisco and Southern California Public Radio
  • Washington: Investigate West

Journalists from these news outlets will focus on the major threats climate change poses to their region, collaborating on local coverage and exchanging content with other members, both in their region and from across the country.

Kyla Mandel will serve as project manager for the new initiative, leading the group’s content strategy and collaborations. Based in Washington, D.C., Mandel has covered climate change and other environmental issues for National Geographic, The New York Times and HuffPost, among other outlets.

“I’m delighted to be helping local outlets produce impactful, innovative coverage,” said Mandel. “I have no doubt that, together, this amazing group will inspire and inform not just their communities, but regional and national audiences as well."

LMA is partnering with several prominent national organizations focused on climate science and climate journalism on this initiative as well, including Climate Matters, the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, Climate Central, SciLine and Climate Communication.

“There is an urgent need for more and better local climate reporting,” said Susan Hassol, Director of Climate Communication. “That’s why our science partners are excited to work with LMA’s Covering Climate Collaborative to support deeper, more inclusive local climate journalism and to amplify the reach of these important stories.”

These climate science organizations will provide training, data and expertise to participating newsrooms, including the opportunity to enroll in a Climate Reporting Master Class.

Members of LMA’s new climate collaborative have all committed to reporting on not only the impacts of climate change, but also the solutions. To further this end, LMA is partnering with the Solutions Journalism Network, which will give participating journalists access to training in solutions-focused reporting methods.

The new Covering Climate Collaborative will benefit from LMA’s past successes in supporting news collaboratives, including Word in Black, Solving for Chicago and the Oklahoma Media Center. LMA has a history of partnering with platform and tech companies and the organization has relationships with about 3,000 member media companies spanning all media platforms, serving audiences in markets of all sizes across the nation.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is to give participating news organizations access to tools, training and data that will help time and resource challenged newsrooms report on climate change and meaningful actions their local audiences can take, and develop and implement strategies to make continued climate coverage sustainable.

WJCT and ADAPT are also members of Covering Climate Now and the Florida Climate Change Collaborative.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.