Q: What is the Climate Desk?
A: Climate Desk is a multi-media journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are: The Atlantic, Atlas Obscura, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, CityLab, Grist, The Guardian, High Country News, HuffPost, Medium, Mother Jones, National Observer, Newsweek, Reveal, Slate, The Weather Channel, Undark, Wired and Yale Envirnoment 360 .
Q: Why collaborate on a project about the climate?
A: Because even though it’s a fascinating and important story, it hasn’t been told very well.
Q: Why not?
A: There are several reasons: 1) Climate change is slow-moving, vast, and overwhelming for news organizations. 2) What coverage there is tends to be fractured and compartmentalized—science, technology, politics, and business aspects are covered by different teams, or “desks” of reporters, despite the intrinsic connections. 3) Cuts to news organizations are making matters worse. 4) Increasingly, the urgency of the situation has led to a greater appetite for coverage that no single news organization can possibly satisfy.
Q: So what’s the advantage to collaborating?
A: For one thing, more hands on deck and more outlets mean we can do more coverage, bringing our various strengths and audiences to bear. Partner outlets have broader access to climate coverage from many of our partners and an opportunity to have a bigger reach for their own work. We also occasionally collaborate on stories, whether it’s an investigative story, a United Nations conference, or a television special on the 2020 election. Plus, given the transformation of the media business, collaboration is part of the future of journalism.
Q: How do I contact you?
A: General inquiries can be sent to Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Will Peischel, email@example.com.
Q: Who works on Climate Desk?
Climate Desk was convened by Mother Jones in 2009 and has provided climate coverage to a global shared audience of over 300 million. It is coordinated by Mother Jones, and here’s our team.
Marianne oversees Climate Desk and is Editorial Operations Director for the DC office of Mother Jones. She has written for the The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Esquire, the Los Angeles Times, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, among others. She has written one book and ghosted many others. Before joining Mother Jones, she was a Senior Writer at US News & World Report and a professor of Journalism at American University. She’s on Twitter, @szegedym
James West is Mother Jones’ deputy editor, digital in New York. Check out his six-part video series for our National Magazine Award-winning private prison exposé (and don’t miss the bit where he gets arrested.) Find him on Twitter or Instagram. @jameswest2010
Rebecca Leber is an environmental reporter in Mother Jones’ Washington, DC bureau. Previously she was an editor for Grist and a staff writer for The New Republic. She has written on a wide range of the climate and environment beats, contributing features on former EPA chief Scott Pruitt, the Paris climate agreement, Sunrise Movement, and climate science. A lot of her work has also focused on investigating the changes taking place at the EPA and Department of Interior. In 2017 the SEAL awards recognized her as one of the 10 top environmental journalists in the US. She’s also completed media fellowships with CUNY Graduate Journalism and Vermont Law School. You can reach her at RLeber@motherjones.com and follow her on Twitter @rebleber.
Will is the Climate Desk fellow in Mother Jones’ DC bureau, and he covers climate and urban issues. His work has appeared in Vox, Slate, Washingtonian, and Los Angeles Magazine.