Today, Grist and the Associated Press’s Global Climate Desk launched a reporting collaboration on climate and health called “Climate Connections: A warming planet, pathogens, and diseases.” The reporting collaboration brings together the strengths of both organizations in data journalism and climate and health reporting in a unique series that explores the complexities of climate’s impact on disease. 

The stories explore how animals, insects, algae, and bacteria — and the diseases they carry — are shifting due to climate change, and how illnesses are emerging in places they haven’t been found before. The series covers specific diseases related to these shifts including those carried by mosquitoes, ticks, fungi, as well as examining the rise of the “climate doctor.” The AP’s Camille Fassett and MK Wildeman along with Grist’s Zoya Teirstein and freelance writer Blanca Begert reported the six stories. AP developer Caleb Diehl built the series’ interactive map, and Grist’s Amelia Bates designed the art. Grist data reporter Clayton Aldern and AP data editor Justin Myers conducted data visualization and analysis. Editors at the AP and Grist both worked on each story, and reporters from the AP’s health team also provided feedback. 

The two newsrooms will both publish six stories over the course of the next three weeks, and the stories will be available to publish for both AP customers and Grist syndication partners. Both Grist and the AP’s climate team have staff roles dedicated to collaborations.

“Partnerships are fundamental to Grist, and we’re excited to work with one of the biggest newsrooms in the world on this series,” said Katherine Bagley, Grist’s Executive Editor. “The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake up call for just how ill-prepared the world is to combat infectious disease outbreaks. It is a risk that will only get worse as global temperatures continue to rise, ecosystems shift, and illnesses emerge in new areas. All of this will have massive implications on public health and the global health care system. Exploring this subject with the AP’s deeply talented team has been a dream.” 

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This is the first collaboration between the two news organizations. 

“The AP’s climate team has ramped up partnerships in the last year, all with the aim of building strong journalism by infusing stories with ideas and skillsets across organizations,” said Global Climate and Environment News Director Peter Prengaman. “We are thrilled to partner with Grist, a leading news organization on climate and other issues, to examine the connection between rising temperatures and infectious diseases.”

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“This is a truly collaborative project at all levels and across formats. This brings together the respective strengths of Grist and AP Climate in data journalism, data visualization, and scientific based illustrations to effectively tell this part of the climate story,” said Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Climate Collaborations Editor, AP.

Read the full series on Grist and AP.

To learn more about climate collaborations with Grist, contact Rachel Glickhouse. To learn more about climate collaborations with AP, contact Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson