Local Broadcasters Have Opportunities To Explain The Complexities Of Climate Change

During a climate changeĀ panel at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), I underscored the opportunities for trusted local broadcasters to exploit the interactivity of the web and mobile devices to engage audiences with personalized and explanatory messages.

The TV source (click to enlarge)

Most of what people learn about climate change still comes from TV.
In a survey of more than 2,000, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that respondents believed most of what they learned about climate change came from television (see chart on left). When asked where they would turn in the future for climate info, however, the preferred source was the Web (see chart below). This suggests the need for more research for effective explanation of the issue.

Web source (click to enlarge)

In the initial stage of our online poll, nearly 70% of those responding considered themselves to be “somewhat knowledgable” about climate change but not experts. More than 63% expressed “no doubt” that climate change is real. (Stay tuned for poll updates.) Regardless if you believe climate change is a “natural cycle” or a result of humans, good journalism provides balanced coverage of the available data and perspectives. There is overwhelming agreement within the scientific community that climate change is real. Responsible journalism, therefore, provides accurate and clear scientific explanations so citizens and policy makers can make informed decisions and, if desired, prepare for potential consequences.

About Ron Yaros

Ronald A. Yaros researches audience engagement with multimedia and mobile journalism. His publications, including two book chapters, explore how audiences seek, select and share news. As a Blended Learning Fellow for interactive classes with social networks and a custom mobile app, he tests new ways to communicate digital information. Dr. Yaros was one of two student-nominated 2012 Excellence in Teaching Awards on campus. Prior to completing a Ph.D. in 2005 at the University of Wiiscosin-Madison, his professional experience included twenty-five years as an Emmy-award winning broadcaster and president of a software company.
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