On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Amelia Nierenberg of the New York Times and Lucy Biggers of NowThis News join Danielle Nierenberg to talk about the changing—and challenging—field of food journalism. “My goal is always to help people learn. I’m not biased toward any medium; I’m biased toward getting the message through,” says Lucy. “That’s my challenge as I create content—what will actually create impact?”
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As the host of One Small Step, a series that highlights environmental issues and steps for living more sustainably, Biggers focuses on highlighting the complexities of the actions every person takes in their daily lives—and how these actions impact the climate. And while Biggers uses video journalism for One Small Step, the producer and host notes that both journalists and audiences should exercise vigilance when using the popular news medium. “I get a little worried that people watch one viral video or documentary and all of a sudden, everyone thinks they know the truth. But if you work in the space and you learn about everything, you realize there isn’t really one truth: there are gray zones,” says Lucy.
But Amelia notes that, like the status of climate change, can be difficult to stomach for many readers; therefore it is important to applaud every win, whether it be in changing readers’ habits or creating awareness or energy toward solving problems in the food system. “I think that climate is so existentially insurmountable that when people feel as though they have control over their [individual purchasing actions],” says Amelia. “Maybe the actual carbon-ton impact of that change is negligible, but I think the culture shift is not something that can be quantified mathematically.”
“When I’m thinking about stories, I think one of my main responsibilities as a journalist who is writing about climate in a food section is to pick stories and pick topics that feel unique so that people feel energized by reading them,” says Amelia.
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