Course Details


On Demand






On Demand


How to cover the climate crisis — and fight disinformation

This self-directed course features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas‘ massive open online course (MOOC) titled “How to cover the climate crisis — and fight disinformation.” The four-week course took place from August 8 – September 4, 2022.

This course will help you cover climate change — a global crisis, and a political football. We will discuss what we know about the science that shows global warming is real and a threat, and how to spot and deal with climate disinformation. Most importantly, we’ll talk about how to write about a warming planet in ways that reach your audience and (maybe) even persuade them.

 The course materials are broken into four modules, along with an introductory module:

We encourage you to watch the videos, review the readings, and complete the exercises as time allows. The course materials build off each other, but the videos and readings also act as standalone resources that you can return to over time.

We hope you enjoy the materials. If you have any questions, please contact us at journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu.

JRSJohn Schwartz began his teaching career in the summer of 2021. From 2000 until July 2021, he worked at the New York Times, primarily as a science writer. He spent the last seven years there as part of the newspaper’s dozen-person team covering climate coverage. The Times initially hired him to cover technology; his later beats included the U.S. space program, including the loss of the shuttle Columbia and its crew, Hurricane Katrina and the efforts to rebuild hurricane protection around the city, and legal affairs. Over his years at the Times, his reporting took him from Moscow to the Mojave Desert, and involved everything from riding a mud-spewing dredge on the Mississippi River to climbing to the top of a 300-foot wind turbine to strapping into a jet pack. From 1993 until 2000, at the Washington Post, he reported on topics that included federal efforts to regulate the tobacco industry, the Unabomber case, and the school shooting in Jonesboro, Arkansas. At the NYT and WP, he wrote stories for nearly every section of the newspaper. From 1985 until 1993, he worked at Newsweek Magazine, ultimately becoming a senior editor in the business section.

He has written several books, including “Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality,” and “This Is the Year I Put My Financial Life in Order.”

He was born in Galveston, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas and its law school. He is married to his college sweetheart, Jeanne Mixon. They have three children, who live in Texas, in New Jersey and in Australia, and two grandchildren.

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
300 West Dean Keeton
Room 3.212
Austin, TX, 78712

Phone: 512-471-1391

Email: journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu