PPA Blog

How to create climate stories that work: A Report from the Climate Creatives Festival

By Sebastian Cuttill

6 Oct 2021

How can the media engage audiences with one of the most pressing stories of our time? That was the question being answered at the BBC Academy Climate Creatives Festival, and the PPA tuned in to bring you the key thoughts on how we can give audiences the information they have a right to know, in a way that feels human, relatable and personally relevant.

How we discuss climate change is just as critical as whether we talk about it at all, rather than overloading people with scientific jargon, bringing out the human element in climate stories will invite people into the conversation. This particularly important in the ‘culture wars’ era, where it is essential to create a shared narrative, rather than one that fosters polarisation.

Indeed, a fatalistic angle can induce guilt in shame in readers or viewers, which disincentives action on the climate crisis. An emphasis on the urgency of the problem must be balanced with the public’s ability to take action.

Zarina Ahmad, PhD Researcher and Climate Change Communicator, pointed out that there is an unfounded assumption that minority groups are focused on other issues and not focused on climate: this view has no evidential basis. In fact, minority communities want to be included further, and effort should be made to connect groups to social justice issues that are being impacted by climate change.

Specialist publishers can play a key role in informing and motivating the public to take action. By focusing on a particular passion or industry, publishers have a great opportunity to connect sustainability and environmental stories with people’s particular area of interest.

If you are interested in getting involved with the PPA’s work on sustainability, please contact Michael Sturges - michael.sturges@ri.seor Sebastian Cuttill – sebastian.cuttill@ppa.co.uk

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