In the most recent chapter of the book called “I have an awesome life,” I reviewed every episode of “The Daily Show” since 1999 that has dealt with climate change or global warming, 67 episodes in all. In a story for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, I report that Jon Stewart’s coverage of the issue is hilarious but often misleading:
Although the show deftly highlights the follies of politicians and television news networks, it is prone to inaccuracies of its own. A Yale Forum analysis found that Stewart and the show’s other correspondents have repeatedly — and mistakenly — conflated the ozone hole and climate change. At times, Stewart has appeared uncharacteristically timid in questioning guests about climate science. Meanwhile, the show’s coverage of the University of East Anglia/Climatic Research Unit 2009 e-mail controversy likely reinforced public misunderstanding.
For Chemical & Engineering News, I also reported recently that the soils of northern forests are high in mercury, and that dioxin levels in Beijing dropped 70 percent during the 2008 Summer Olympics, in part because the city temporarily banned two million cars from the road.
And finally, I got a promotion! I’m now the interim executive producer for reesenews.org, an experimental digital news site based at the University of North Carolina. The site, which launched in November 2011, is staffed by a fantastic team of students who have already started to win some big awards. For example, this interactive story about NCAA investigations at UNC just won a first-place national Society of Professional Journalists award. If you’re a journalism geek, both reesenews.org and reesefelts.org, our insider blog, are well worth checking out.