Thanks for signing our petition, “Accurate Weather and Climate Reporting on KNKX Jazz Blues & NPR News”. We were successful in modestly moving KNKX with respect to Cliff Mass’s minimization of the climate crisis. Station managers arranged for a scientific review (conducted pro bono by Dr. Tad Anderson, a former colleague of Mass and a member of 350 Seattle) and a journalistic integrity review (conducted by former NPR Public Editor Elizabeth Jensen). Both reviews were too narrow in scope, but KNKX has agreed to taking three steps:
- Removing mentions of Cliff Mass’ blog on the KNKX website and on the air during Weather With Cliff Mass. “A commentary slot should not be a platform for self-promotion,” the journalistic ethics reviewer wrote, “[and] Mass’ blog increasingly covers far more than weather.” This is an understatement, given one of Mass’ blog posts about I-1631, in which he compared the underserved, overburdened communities who would have benefited from some of the fees raised to pigs at a trough; the disrespect he shows Greta Thunberg, Jamie Margolin, and 350.org in another post; or the critique he makes of Washington state’s response to the pandemic.
- Requiring KNKX’s regular commentators to disclose if they plan to take a public political position; if they do, KNKX will disclaim it online or on-air. The public editor writes that “if Mass, or any other regular commentator, gets actively involved in a political campaign, KNKX should be transparent about that and make clear that such activism has no effect on its reporting.”
- Possibly creating additional programming dedicated to climate change.The journalistic integrity evaluation included a recommendation that “KNKX could consider making a place for dedicated reporting on local environmental issues, and give it as much prominence as it does its weather commentary.”
This third recommendation may be the most impactful for KNKX’s 350,000 weekly listeners throughout Washington and beyond. It would be terrific to hear a new feature on the station — “Climate with Kate Marvel” (or Elizabeth Kolbert or Jennifer Francis!) in which the climate minimalism of “Weather With Cliff Mass” would be counterbalanced by the perspective of one of the women in the field of climate science and climate journalism! If you support the idea of a new “Climate Science” feature centering the voice of a woman scientist or someone from the BIPOC scientific community, please let KNKX know by emailing Content Editor Matt Martinez. If you are a donor of KNKX, please also let the station managers know how important it is for them to develop additional climate reporting — distinct from weather or environmentalism reporting — ASAP!
Mary Paterson with 350 Seattle, 350 Tacoma, 350 Eastside, and 350 Everett