Climate change is #1. When we say that, we don’t mean we’re all cheering for global warming. We mean the subject tops the list of the most important underreported issues in the world today—at least according to news aggregation site Upworthy.
Joe Romm of ThinkProgress says the topic huge number of readers chose by an overwhelming margin was climate change:
Last month, Upworthy asked readers “what you felt were the most important topics: the big issues of our day that deserve more focus and attention than they generally receive in the media.” The response was overwhelming: “In the couple of days the poll was open, tens of thousands of you from all across the country and world chimed in to vote. Many of you even gave us personal and moving reasons for your choices.”
As a result, Upworthy is turning more emphatically toward coverage of environmental news:
To help bone up on climate change and clean energy issues, we’ll be partnering with the good folks at Climate Nexus. Chock-full of environmental science experts, reporters, public affairs specialists, and documentary filmmakers, Climate Nexus already does excellent work in telling the story of our climate in new and clever ways. We’re excited about putting our heads together to think of even bigger and bolder ways to bring attention to one of the most pressing issues facing our planet.
Reporting the story, Romm twice disses “stagnant old media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post.” Note, however, that almost everybody over 30 gives them more credibility than BuzzFlash or (heaven forbid!) Upworthy itself, including the ginormous graying Baby Boomer bunch.
But don’t write off Upworthy as a passing fad or just a trendsetter for Millennials. Tim Graham of the conservative NewsBusters blog pigeonholed it last weekend as “a powerful new tool in the Left’s social-media sandbox readership.” That readership packs quite a punch. The site’s February traffic hit more than 20 million per week, according to the Quantcast traffic-measuring firm.
Upworthy started publishing less than two years ago, and already it has twice as much impact as BBC World or The New York Times, according to some sources. It leaves Yahoo! News in the dust by a factor of more than 3:1.
So, when somebody starts mouthing off about climate change as a dead issue, you now have a pretty powerful comeback.