Can Journalists Save the Planet?

Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 18:00

The Amazon is burning. Coral reefs are dying. Glaciers are melting, and as Earth gets pushed to its brink, journalists who can translate the impact of climate change and hold the powerful accountable are more needed than ever. Climate reporters Kendra Pierre-Louis (New York Times) and Lisa Song (ProPublica) head to the MIT Communications Forum to discuss the media’s role in illuminating environmental issues, promoting environmental justice and ethics, and the future of climate journalism. Beth Daley, Editor and General Manager for The Conversation, will moderate.


Kendra Pierre-Louis is a Climate Reporter with the New York Times and author of the book, Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet. Previously she was a staff writer for Popular Science (PopSci) where she wrote about science, the environment, and, occasionally, mayonnaise. Her writing has also appeared in FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Modern Farmer, and Slate.

Lisa Song is an investigative reporter at ProPublica who covers the environment, energy and climate change. She joined ProPublica in 2017 after six years at InsideClimate News, where she covered climate science and environmental health. She was part of the reporting team that revealed Exxon’s shift from conducting global warming research to supporting climate denial, a series that was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for public service. From 2013–2014 she reported extensively on air pollution from Texas’ oil and gas boom as part of a collaboration between several newsrooms. Lisa is a co-author of “The Dilbit Disaster,” which won a Pulitzer for national reporting.

Beth Daley is Editor and General Manager of The Conversation. She covered the environment, science, and education for almost two decades at The Boston Globe, was an investigative reporter at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and head of strategic development at InsideClimate News before coming to The Conversation. Daley was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has won awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

All Communications Forum events are free and open to the general public. Seating is given on a first come, first served basis. There are no tickets. This event is co-sponsored by Radius at MIT, the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, Climate CoLab, Women & Gender Studies at MIT, the MIT Center for Global Change Science, and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

Location: Room 3–270, MIT