If Mark Twain were living today, he might amend his famous quote about the weather to say, “Everybody talks about climate change, but nobody does anything about it.” And Twain might agree that KNTV in San Francisco is doing something about it.
If Mark Twain were living today, he might amend his famous quote about the weather to say, “Everybody talks about climate change, but nobody does anything about it.” And Twain might agree that NBC’s San Francisco O&O KNTV is are doing something about it.
In February, KNTV, branded as NBC Bay Area, launched an on-going coverage commitment to how climate change is influencing life in the region.
The Climate in Crisis initiative is featured across all of the station’s platforms, connecting viewers with eco-friendly climate change solutions that range from creative ways to help at home, to local companies leading the way.
While research says the weather forecast is the No. 1 reason people watch local TV news, climate change, not so much. It’s not, as they say in the news business, sexy.
Not so in the San Francisco Bay Area says Sara Bueno, KNTV’s VP, integrated media.
“People had a heightened interest regarding climate as a result of wild fire pollution,” Bueno says, which caused the skies in the region to turn orange. “Now people are really concerned about their health and every day [are] asking about air quality and pollutants and what level are we,” she says.
“So we didn’t really have to even make it that sexy.”
“After years of covering devastating wildfires throughout our area,” says Stephanie Adrouny, KNTV’s VP of news, “we knew we had to dedicate ourselves to covering climate change and look for solutions to these growing environmental problems.”
“To many people, climate change feels too big, too global,” adds Stacy Owen, KNTV’s GM.
“They don’t think they can have any real impact. Our goal is to bring Climate in Crisis to your front door.”
The station started researching solutions people can embrace, says Joyce Hunington, KNTV’s executive producer, “and figured out that right off the bat, we have 50 things you could do in your home any day to help with the climate, from using a recyclable shampoo bottle to figuring out what kind of toothbrush is best for the climate.”
The solutions were branded as Climate Hack and rolled out on social media and in weekend newscasts.
The Climate Hacks are about a minute long, says Hunington, starting with a problem, and its solution, what people can do that would benefit “all of us if you did this one little thing. Our stories are trying to be solution oriented, how people can really help, so that people don’t feel like it is out of reach for them.”
Adrouny says KNTV spreads the climate change segments on “every one of our platforms: television, OTT like Roku, Apple TV, social media, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, you name it. We look at them as equally important.” Reaching people no matter where they are, says Adrouny, will increase the chances of real climate change.
Hunington says working on the Climate in Crisis project has given her hope.
“I was shocked at how many people are thinking and working on this all day every day. And so I feel hopeful that there will be solutions. And I hope that we are sending that message in our coverage.”
Additionally, NBC Bay Area’s sister station, Telemundo 48 Area de la Bahia (KSTS), has launched Crisis Climatica, informing its viewers about local climate change issues in Spanish.
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