“Tell the truth” is the first demand of Extinction Rebellion and featured prominently on its pink boat at the centre of the group’s demonstrations this week in central London.
Climate change activists are certainly right that truth, journalism and scientific objectivity are at the centre of most of the debates around environmental change.
We know that oil companies have poured millions into lobbying and PR to undermine the consensus around the impact of global warming – its rate, causes and effects. Byline Times applauds any movement that puts fact and evidence at the centre of its activism.
We also feel, because of many entrenched interests, Extinction Rebellion and outspoken climate activists like Greta Thunberg have not received a fair hearing from most of the mainstream press. For that reason, out of objectivity more than balance, we have been happy to report in more depth about the organisation and principles of XR and to counter some of the personalised attacks on Thunberg.
We follow the story wherever it goes – and don’t take sides in any particular activist cause. However, we do believe that when investigating wrongs in society, we shouldn’t just leave our readers despairing and should provide them with mechanisms to do something to right the wrongs they have seen. Sometimes, this may result in Byline Times creating its own campaign, but, more often than not, we leave it to the public to choose.
For this reason, we are happy to host an activist hub for a variety of causes on our site and encourage our readers to get in touch if you have a local, national or international issues you are campaigning on.
We will never let activism lead our journalism, but we can’t deny that our journalism will sometimes lead to activism.