In 2014, NPR made the surprising decision to cut back on the number of staffers focused solely on the environment and climate change. As Inside Climate News reported, "the move to shift reporters off the environment beat was driven by an interest to cover other fields more in depth," according to Anne Gudenkauf, senior supervising editor of NPR's science desk.
But for those committed to making leadership choices that recognize the interconnectedness of all life and serve the highest benefit for all, a reduction in the national news coverage of what some call the most pressing issue of our time is simply not acceptable. We know that adequate media coverage is critical to a functioning democracy and the ability of leaders and citizens around the world to make responsible, informed decisions
The Restorative Leadership Institute therefore launched a petition to amplify the citizens unified objection to the reduction of NPR’s environment and climate issues staff and the subsequent diminished coverage of news related to climate change and planet-critical indicators.
Nearly 22,000 signatories came together to ask NPR to restore adequate staffing and coverage of the environment and climate issues, stating that without rigorous reporting on the environment and issues like climate change that have global consequences for all, NPR cannot hope to fulfill its mission to, “create a more informed public,” “produce, acquire, and distribute programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression,” or, as stated in the strategic plan, “fulfill our mission as a premier public media provider, feeding the mind, satisfying the soul, and setting the standard for independent journalism in the twenty-first century.”
Thousands of concerned citizens spoke out, sharing their concerns with Mr. Jarl Mohn, President and CEO, and the Board of Directors for National Public Radio. Here's a glimpse at what they said:
- Addressing environment and climate is essential to national security.
- Adequate staffing for the biggest crisis in history is necessary to create an informed public.
- As a Public radio program, you have an obligation to balance reporting. The climate issue is the most serious issue we face in the not so long run.
- As our health is directly linked to declining environmental health, the environment is the most important issue of our time.
- Climate change is HAPPENING and is an IMPORTANT topic that MUST be reported on so the public is aware of the consequences. Public awareness with scientific evidence can lead to solutions. Restore responsible coverage NOW.
- Environmental issues are so important because they affect everyone. In order to make responsible decisions about how to manage our own activities, we need to know the science behind what is happening and what consequences our actions could have.
- Of all places to provide coverage of this issue, NPR should be the leader!
- Reporting on environmental issues is more important now more than ever and there is such limited reporting going on in popular media. Most people do not rely on self research for issues, they rely on the news that they listen to or watch every day and that is popular media.
- The environment is THE issue of our time!! If we don't have a livable, clean planet, where are we?
- The environment and climate arguably pose the most critical issues facing humanity.
- When it comes from NPR, the public knows it is real and accurate; there are so few places that is true anymore. You MUST restore responsible coverage of environmental and climate issues. Climate change is the biggest threat we face and you guys are dropping out just when the world needs you most.
- Threats to our environment are on such a massive scale that it affects us all and it affects our future.
- Why is the truth being hidden and distorted? We are all suffering from pollution, and the World is going to be a terrible place to live in, if the environment and climate are not protected.
At the Restorative Leadership Institute, we know that climate change is the story of the 21st century. As an organization that is dedicated to cultivating leadership and enterprise that fulfills humanity’s potential to thrive in balance with all life, RLI and our community count on NPR's leadership to provide the world with coverage of the critical issues that face our planet.
Join us in elevating the voices of those committed to restorative leadership worldwide by letting your media sources and legislators know how critical it is we remain informed of the issues that affect all life.