Today, I’m excited to introduce a new look and renewed focus for Grist. We are the same Grist our audience has turned to over the years for vital reporting on our changing planet, but we’ve also grown and expanded our work – and I hope you’ll see that reflected in our updated website and new tagline: “Climate. Justice. Solutions.”
When Grist began in 1999 as a pioneering digital publication, our primary focus was raising awareness about the most existential threat we face. Today, three-quarters of Americans recognize that climate change is happening – a huge transformation and necessary building block for the public will to address the climate crisis.
But today brings new challenges: Less than a third of Americans understand how climate change is inextricably bound to social, economic, and racial justice, and still fewer – less than a fifth – believe we can even solve the climate crisis. Our belief is that these are the areas that demand our attention. Today, Grist is dedicated to re-writing the climate story.
As we know well, the clock is ticking. We don’t have time to waste to slash our emissions to lessen the greatest impacts of climate change. For decades, reporting on climate change has been about doom and gloom. While this helps to raise awareness, it hasn’t spurred us – as a society – to imagine the future we need and to take action to get there. Our mission is to make this story of a better future so irresistible, you want it right now.
Today, we at Grist are more focused than ever on showing that a just and sustainable future is within reach. Once a digital publication alone, today we are a nonprofit media organization with an expanded focus on elevating the diverse voices of the people innovating, documenting, and building the way forward to solve the climate crisis.
Our long-standing journalism – the Grist our audience knows well – has grown to include deepened environmental justice coverage, investigative and enterprise work, explanatory reporting, and data-rich storytelling. But in recent years, to advance our ambitious goals, we have also added vital new initiatives, and we’re excited to introduce these to our audience and longtime Grist community.
In 2019, we launched a new brand called Fix around the Grist 50 list – our annual list of leaders making change happen. Today, Fix is Grist’s Solutions Lab, connecting and elevating the people leading the way on climate solutions through storytelling, events, and network-building. Fix has built a diverse community of 300 leaders nationally, and creates future-looking storytelling about the people and ideas they uncover. We’re excited to share Fix’s work through its new website. You’ll see more announcements about this site next week when the Grist 50 2021 goes live!
As Grist deepened our own work on race and equity in recent years, we also saw how critical it is that those most impacted by climate change – particularly communities of color – hold the pen, both literally and figuratively.
Two years ago, we helped convene the first national gathering of environmental journalists of color. This Saturday, on the first day of spring, that effort will launch as The Uproot Project, a new network led by journalists across the industry, dedicated to advancing the careers of storytellers of color who’ve historically been underrepresented in environmental journalism. We’re thrilled by the promise of this network.
We at Grist are energized by the opportunity in front of us. Our long history in environmental media affords us a unique opportunity to meet this urgent moment on climate change and rewrite the climate story.
Through our journalism, we will continue to show our audience that a just and sustainable future is within reach. Through Fix, we’ll build on our journalism to connect and elevate the people bringing solutions to life. And through initiatives like The Uproot Project and our longstanding fellowship program for early career journalists, we commit to strengthening representation in environmental stories and storytellers.
Through 2021 and beyond, expect to see us fully dedicated to climate, justice, and solutions. This year, we’ll convene important conversations (stay tuned for more about our events series), publish impactful stories, feature leaders and their solutions, and support the diverse journalists writing their way beyond the climate crisis. We hope you’ll be there with us, whether you’re a longtime friend of Grist or a new one meeting us today. I encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to stay connected.