The Financial Times: Telling the climate crisis story in video

Video lives outside the FT paywall, and give the team the chance to reach people they normally wouldn’t. But they have to use an unusual ingredient: emotion.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Director Juliet Riddell of the Financial Times talked to the News Impact Summit in Birmingham about their new short film on the climate crisis. Here are my liveblogged notes.

Warning: Liveblogging. Prone to error, inaccuracy and howling crimes against grammar and syntax.

What will the world look like in 30 years’ time? trying to explore that led the Financial Times in an interesting direction. They realised that they were too busy trying to describe future scenarios to concentrate on what is actually happening now. And that led to this movie:

They wanted it to speak to people who didn’t know the ins and outs of climate reporting - but those who are already aware will probably get more value for it. Use of language matters; how we describe things matter - but we need to consider if it’s constructive.

Video lives outside the paywall, so it can have a bigger impact. It's a privildige of working on the video team that they get to seek ways of engaging emotionally via video, which isn’t the normal approach. The FT has been incredibly supportive of the team’s risk-taking, and working with the Royal Court Theatre to deliver this was really rewarding.

The number of views has been good, but not amazing. It has led to Juliet being invited to give talks - and the video continues to spread virally. It’s embeddable, and it’s popping up on more and more websites.

financial timesclimate changevideo journalismVideoclimate crisis

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.