Is the global media helping or hurting the fight against climate change?

GLF Live with John Vidal and Bill McKibben

See the full GLF Live series here.

Journalism, the fourth pillar of democracy. Turning, crinkling, scrolling, pressing play. A place for discourse, for common understanding. A place for informing, for revealing. For accountability. For provoking change. Is it doing this now, for the climate? Is journalism helping our planet? Is it using the right words, telling the right facts, reaching its intended audiences?

In this GLF Live, two foundational leaders of environmental journalism – former environment editor of The Guardian John Vidal and proliferous writer and advocate Bill McKibben – joined in conversation as part of the Storytelling Track of the GLF Bonn 2020 digital conference.

Is the global media helping or hurting the fight against climate change?
Illustration by Jessica Ball

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.

Henry Anatole Grunwald

Bill McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. In 1988 he wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a common audience about global warming. He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at, an international climate campaign that works in 188 countries around the world. Find out more about Bill McKibben and his work here.

John Vidal was environment editor of The Guardian for 27 years, during which time he reported from over 100 countries and got himself arrested, detained or expelled from quite a few. He is the author of McLibel, Burger Culture on Trial and has contributed to books on water, land, war and climate. He is presently writing about biodiversity and disease.

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