We're intrigued by the soft-launch of Climate Central, a self-described "think tank" with a production studio that's focused on delivering "timely, relevant, high-quality climate information through a variety of channels."
Climate Central represents another exciting example of the bypassing of traditional news media outlets.
Climate Central's founding team represents a strategic mix of science and media: Berrien Moore III, former director of the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space; scientist and Weather Channel correspondent Heidi Cullen; physicist Philip Duffy from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; veteran science writer Michael Lemonick; and so on. The plan is to launch later this year.
Climate Change is a 501(c)(3) organization, started with funding from the Flora Family Foundation and the 11th Hour Project. That's interesting enough, further evidence (see "Pro Publica") that non-profits are at least winning investment traction in an otherwise brutal media market.
More important, it bears out Dan Gillmor's observation that, more and more, it is advocacy groups that have the resources and the expertise to create authoritative, compelling content. As traditional media organizations lose the will and the resources to credibly report on issues of complexity and depth, there's an opportunity for this new breed of news-savvy advocates to inform and engage.
Which, of course, raises all sorts of questions about the built-in tension between advocacy and objectivity, and about the filters we apply in producing, editing, and viewing news and knowledge.
Interested in other media projects that are turning the old models of news and information on their heads? Check out the Changemakers WeMedia competition.