Panel: “We’re So Screwed”: The Ethics and Efficacy of Doomsday Reporting
This summer, one powerful example of “doomsday” reporting captivated the public, while another proved eerily prescient. David Wallace-Wells’ New York magazine story on the worst-case scenarios posed by climate change nabbed more than 3 million readers in just two weeks, making it the most-read article in the publication’s history. A couple months later, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, resulting in some of the exact scenarios predicted a year before in a prescient ProPublica/Texas Tribune investigation. We’ll look at these and other examples of journalists trying to sound the alarm, and examine how gloom-and-doom narratives affect public consciousness and preparedness, especially when it comes to existential threats like climate change. And we’ll ask: How can we tell these important stories ethically and effectively?
Moderator: Scott Dodd, Editor in Chief, Grist