Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Podcaster Westervelt to discuss media's role in climate debate

Amy Westervelt Amy Westervelt

As the Spring 2021 Public Affairs Journalist in Residence, Amy Westervelt will discuss the news media’s role in the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to block climate action and obscure climate science. Westervelt’s presentation, Widening the Circle of Accountability: Media & the Climate Debate, will be livestreamed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21.

Westervelt will share her thoughts on the news media as a critical tool in the fossil fuel industry’s disinformation campaign. She believes members of the media must acknowledge and understand their role in this effort and must constantly question the sources of information they lend credence to. Westervelt also will discuss the conventions of journalism that enable the powerful and those that empower the public.

La Follette School Assistant Professor Morgan Edwards will moderate the hour-long event, which will include time for audience questions. Westervelt’s presentation is the first of several events leading up to the La Follette School’s Climate Policy Forum on October 6.

An award-winning journalist, Westervelt began her career in print journalism before expanding to radio and launching Critical Frequency, a podcast network and production house that specializes in reported, narrative audio. Critical Frequency shows have won awards from the Online News Association, the Religion Communicators Council, and the Society of Environmental Journalists. In 2019, AdWeek named Critical Frequency its Podcast Network of the Year. Westervelt hosts the podcast Drilled, which focuses on climate change and the fossil fuel industry.

The Journalist in Residence Program is sponsored by University Communications, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, with support from the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.