On 19th July 2019, activists representing Extinction Rebellion and Climate Media Coalition took part in a rally, and die-in at the steps of Northcliffe House in Kensington, London – the offices of the Mail newspaper group and The Independent.
Speakers from Extinction Rebellion, XR Youth, Culture Declares and the Climate and Media Coalition were joined by musicians from XR Baroque and poet Stav.
Around a hundred people took part in a die-in on the steps of the building.
The Independent has agreed to meet with Extinction Rebellion, but in the days following the action, the Daily Mail (like much corporate media) celebrated the soaring summer temperatures with no mention of the climate crisis, and also published hit pieces about XR suggesting they are Marxists bent on bringing down capitalism by any means necessary.
Much work is still needed to be done.
Meanwhile, at the slightly more liberal end of the spectrum, The Guardian, no doubt mindful that recent surveys show UK citizens much more inclined to believe the climate crisis is a priority, have signed up to an initiative by the Colombia Journalism Review, to prioritise climate coverage in the week leading up to the Climate Action Summit on 23rd September. Whether this will stretch to any embargo on high-carbon lifestyle advertising remains to be seen.
What’s the alternative? How about a people-funded, and people-controlled alternative media with just one editorial line – to hold the rich and powerful to account. As George Orwell is reported to have said, “All else is PR”.