In November, Media Impact Funders and Vulcan Productions convened award-winning media makers, funders and researchers to share best practices for crafting high-impact media on climate change. In this guest post, Annie Neimand—the research director and executive editor for the frank conference and website—rounds up the latest research on what works in environmental communications, which she presented at that gathering.
How do we more effectively communicate issues that matter to the public interest? Join Media Impact Funders at the frank conference—the annual gathering for people who use communications to drive social change—in Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 24 for an invitation-only preview of intriguing ideas and an opportunity to have a more intimate dialogue with key speakers.
By Megha Satyanarayana | Originally from h Magazine
As Judy McAuley chats with customers at her baby supply store, a small white box on the counter flashes numbers on its digital display: 20, 19, 21. The customers at Happy Baby Company stop to look before paying for natural teething necklaces, cloth diapers and BPA-free baby bottles.
The box is an air quality monitor called the Speck Sensor, and it’s telling Ms. McAuley that the air inside the store is relatively low in a specific and dangerous type of pollution. This is important to her because, like many businesses along Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue, a borough northwest of Pittsburgh, Happy Baby is next to the Shenango coke works.
“The air gets weird and stinky in the summer,” said Ms. McAuley, who lives nearby. “You hear about how asthma rates are through the roof around here.”
On the one hand, President Obama dubbed this weekend’s historic climate change agreement in Paris “a turning point for the world.” On the other, it “didn’t save the planet,” according to environmental activist Bill McKibben. However, “it may have saved the chance of saving the planet.”
Either way, there’s much more to be said and done—and these are no small stakes. Billions of philanthropic dollars have already flowed into environmental research and initiatives. Media is crucial in this sector, both to advance advocacy around solutions and to report on the real human consequences of related shifts in weather, air quality, and food systems, among other topics.
In November, MIF and Vulcan Productions convened leading funders and producers to discuss a slate of ambitious projects on related issues, and examine how best to both build and evaluate their impact.
By Vincent Stehle | Originally from The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Once the United Nations Conference on Climate Change wraps up this weekend, it will become more important than ever that foundations step in and persuade citizens around the world to make sure government leaders follow through on the pledges made in Paris. We have already seen tremendous partnerships between grant makers and media organizations that set the standard for what needs to happen next. But they pale in comparison to what the energy industry is spending to protect its practices, and that’s why the next phase of action is so crucial. Read more
On November 5 at eTown Hall in Boulder, Colorado, Media Impact Funders (MIF) and Vulcan Productions joined forces to assemble top documentarians, journalism outlets and funders focused on climate change.
The day’s speakers honed in on the question of how to assess whether productions are moving audiences and policymakers to action, and how best to collaborate — especially given that all eyes are trained on Paris this week for the COP21 talks. Read more
With the hottest summer on record drawing to a close, and the pope gearing up to address Congress, environmental issues are dominating the news. However, finding effective ways to address these complex and controversial topics can be tricky for both public interest media makers and the foundations that support their work.
To feature some of the best approaches to creating high-impact environmental media, we’ve curated resources from across our site in our latest Issues section. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this topic through the end of the year, when one of the largest international summits — the United Nation’s 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (also known as COP21) — takes place in Paris.
Below, we take a look at the role that university-based research centers are playing in evaluating, producing and showcasing climate media and communications — including news, documentary, strategic campaigns, and more. In many cases, such centers are funded by foundations, and complement other direct investments in productions and outreach campaigns.