• Christina Berg Johansen

Book recommendation - temporality and journalism in our age of climate change

Updated: Aug 23

At the Climate Change Temporalities conference I went to last week (online, hosted by the University of Bergen), I participated in a session with Henrik Bødker from Aarhus University. He has co-edited (with Hannah E. Morris) the book Climate Change & Journalism. Negotating rifts of time, which brings together some truly important headlines of our contemporary age, and I simply feel a need to share!

What Henrik and the different chapter authors see, and challenge, is how journalism has some innate barriers to being able to investigate and communicate the predicaments, monstrosities and agencies of climate change. One of Henrik's pivotal points is that journalism has grown up in modernity, and is structured in and for a different time than the one that is unfolding now (just like my own point about modern organizations/companies). Journalism is event focused, he argues, and climate change is not an event, rather it is an almost 'oozing' and ongoing process, spanning past, present and future.

In the presentation, Henrik then went into questioning the broader cultural narratives that inform journalism and its attention to events - what they are and what they do. In his presentation, some of his suggestions to develop journalisms sense of time and understanding of the multiplicities of timescales that we see in climate change, are for journalism to inform itself not just by present and future, but also by the past - and to engage people who can narrate differently than the modern journalist or the 'mainstream experts' that they are informed by.