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French journalists pledge more responsible reporting on climate issues

More than 1,000 journalists and media organisations, including The Connexion, have signed a charter which aims to encourage rigorous reporting on the climate emergency

Journalists join ranks to promote climate issues from a serious standpoint Pic: Neydt Stock / Shutterstock

More than 1,000 French journalists have signed a charter pledging responsible reporting of climate change issues, such as not using photos of fun at the beach to illustrate heatwaves. 

Loup Espargilière, founder of Vert.eco which launched the charter, said: “In June, during the first heatwave, we saw photos from a press agency of children playing in water and they appeared all over the media. 

Read more: France set for week of hot weather with 30C expected in south west

‘Frivolous images’

“Using frivolous images to illustrate such a serious moment distances the reader.” 

Other points in the charter include: opposing financing from polluting activities; investigating solutions; and no longer limiting ecology to a separate column but making it “a prism through which stories are approached”. 

The idea for the charter, named Upgrading journalistic practices to tackle the ecological emergency, came in 2021 when the IPCC published its latest climate report. “At the same time, Lionel Messi joined PSG and this major document disappeared from the news,” said Mr Espargilière. 

As well as journalists, trade unions and journalism schools, 70 media outlets have signed up, including The Connexion, Mediapart and France 24. 

“We also have journalists from right-wing media and 24-hour news networks who can use this to put pressure on newsrooms.”

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