Hanging with Crocodiles and Climate Change

They say first impressions last – pretty much the same if you want to catch your readers eye. I reckon the subject line in my email to Ryan Tubridy caught someones eye in RTE last Tuesday. I called it “Hanging with Crocodiles”.

Feb 4th 2014 at 10.26

Dear Ryan

I know that all emails can’t be replied to but I must ask that you, or someone in your team, answer this one. Perhaps consider it research?

I would like to know if it is a personal position, an RTE position, a fear of hysteria, a fear of bad news, a “this is not morning talk show material” or what is the reason climate change is avoided on your show? Has it ever been discussed on your show or the Late Late Show for that matter – I admit to not catching all of them. It was very refreshing to hear Geraldine state her reasons for cycling however I did note that it was not commented upon or expanded despite there being plenty of time given to the depressing news about floods.

If we do not start talking about it and the challenges it poses we can not set about discussing the opportunities it presents.

Is anyone willing to engage in a conversation about the reality that is climate change or is RTE up there with the crocodiles, in denial?

Kind regards

Theresa

Image

I thought I might get a politically correct reply within the week but I wasn’t prepared for the email I received that evening from the Environmental Pillar.

 

From: RTÉ Audience Council Climate Change Project
Sent: 04 February 2014 19:56
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: RTÉ Audience Council Climate Change Project: Report and Invitation to Contribute

Hi,

We are writing to you as members of the RTÉ Audience Council (for details on the Council’s remit, functions and activities see RTÉ’s website at http://www.rte.ie/about/en/how-rte-is-run/2012/0330/315626-audience-council/)

Last year, the Audience Council commissioned a project that sought to review RTÉ’s coverage of climate change and energy security and to involve Ireland’s scientific, NGO and environmental communities in sourcing feedback on how RTÉ may improve its committment to reportage on these topics.

Enclosed are two documents which represent the first phase of the project. They comprise the executive summary of the main findings of an analysis of RTÉ coverage on climate change, as well as the full report on which it is based. We are distributing it to a broad range of groups and individuals in Ireland who, we feel, may be interested in its findings and in contributing suggestions. We invite you to distribute it further to others whom you feel may be interested.

While we realise you are no doubt pressed for time, we would be very grateful if you could consider the report and submit your response, before Monday 17th February, via the online form found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1L1aHS6fYbsD-Ejf4oa-esywNrD7f2AacRhg2-v9S4hU/viewform . We welcome responses to the report findings and your reflections on how climate change is communicated on all RTÉ platforms. In particular, we are looking for practical recommendations on how communication of the issues linked to climate change may be improved. (In this vein, you may be interested to hear that we understand that RTÉ is planning to appoint a correspondent jointly covering the vacant Environment and Agriculture briefs). All reflections and suggestions received will be compiled and submitted together with the research report to the RTÉ Board and subsequently, key RTÉ personnel who will discuss both the issues raised by the research and the contributions made by members of the public using the form.

We hope you will take this opportunity to help shape RTÉ’s response to one of the great issues of our time. Please feel free to contact us directly via this email address if you have any queries about this work.

Many thanks in advance, and we look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

further email with links to reports:

The executive summary can be read and downloaded here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxxdFg22qWJnYnpGRFFhOWlRcGM/edit?usp=sharing
And, once again, the online form where you can submit your responses and suggestions for improvements in RTÉ’s communication of climate change can be found here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1L1aHS6fYbsD-Ejf4oa-esywNrD7f2AacRhg2-v9S4hU/viewform
Well! It may be a massive coincidence or it may be that it just takes one short email to put some well meaning plans back on track!
I’ve created a facebook event where people are posting and discussing ideas for submissions. It is also a good way of sharing the consultation which only runs until February 17th.
Theresa Carter
February 8th 2014

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