We asked the world’s press to commit to treating climate change as the emergency that scientists say it is. Their response was dispiriting
The TV newsman Bill Moyers likes to tell the story of how Edward R Murrow, the pre-eminent US broadcast journalist of his time, insisted on covering what became Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Murrow’s bosses at CBS News had other priorities; they ordered Murrow’s reporters to cover dance competitions in Hamburg, Paris and London, explaining that Americans needed some happy news. Murrow wouldn’t do it. “It’ll probably get us fired,” he told his colleagues, but he sent his correspondents to the German-Polish border; they arrived just in time to witness Hitler’s tanks and troops roar into Poland. Suddenly, Europe was at war. And Americans heard about it because journalists at one of the nation’s most influential news outlets defied convention and did their jobs.