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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Announcing our spring conference, “Ethics, Urgency & Climate Journalism”


Center for Journalism Ethics hosting its spring conference, “Ethics, Urgency & Climate Journalism,” with support from craig newmark philanthropies and the Evjue Foundation

Madison, Wisconsin – The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will host its 14th annual journalism ethics conference at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on Friday, April 28, 2023, in Madison, Wisconsin. The conference is free, open to the public and made possible by generous sponsorships from craig newmark philanthropies and the Evjue Foundation. 

Called “Ethics, Urgency & Climate Journalism,” the conference will bring together news media professionals, non-profit news leaders, media innovators, academics, climate change communicators, students and the public to address the ethical dimensions of covering climate change for our local, state, national and global communities. 

Some argue that journalism still isn’t effectively communicating the scope and scale of the climate change problem. And some barriers to conveying climate change urgency  lie within the field and practices of journalism itself, leaving journalists to question hard-baked professional practices and reimagine their position within existing ethical codes and value systems. 

As media organizations and thought leaders continue to call for new, different and improved coverage, the conference will foster important discussions around three areas of ethical concern: who gets heard on climate change?; what are the structural barriers to conveying scope and urgency?; and what are the many ways forward for journalists and other climate change communicators?  

“In this moment, climate questions feel relentless,” said Kathleen Bartzen Culver, James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics and director of the Center. “The public needs effective and ethical journalism to aid in the search for answers to those critical questions. I’m proud this conference will advance those efforts.”

Expert panelists will take on subjects such as climate reporting, equity and justice, how traditional media structures affect what gets covered and how, the contentious role of advocacy in journalism and more. TIME Magazine climate change reporter Justin Worland will provide a keynote address titled, “Justice and Journalism’s Climate Challenge.” 

The Center for Journalism Ethics, housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison, provides an international hub for the examination of the role of professional and personal ethics in the pursuit of fair, accurate and principled journalism. The Center offers resources for journalists, educators, students and the public, including internationally recognized annual conferences exploring key issues in journalism.

The Evjue Foundation is the charitable arm of The Capital Times newspaper. Since its founding in the 1960s, the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $70 million to worthy educational, cultural and charitable organizations in the newspaper’s circulation area. 

craig newmark philanthropies supports groups that seek to defend values such as fairness, opportunity and respect and strengthen American democracy. The organization drives broad civic engagement by working to advance organizations focused on trustworthy journalism and the information ecosystem, voter protection, women in tech, and veterans and military families. Craig Newmark is the founder of craigslist. 

Registration is open and available here.

For more information, see the conference web page and/or contact Krista Eastman, administrator at the Center for Journalism Ethics, at