DC Thomson’s daily newspapers are travelling across Scotland to report on how the climate crisis is impacting on local communities ahead of international COP26 talks in Glasgow.
Journalists from The Courier and The Press and Journal are driving an electric van from John O’Groats to Glasgow, looking to find out what the climate emergency means to audiences in their titles’ circulation areas.
The eight-day tour, which begun on October 21 and ends on the 28th, will look at what climate change means for local wildlife, the fishing industry, emissions from industry and for flooding risks in towns, cities and villages.
Writers from DC Thomson’s news brands will report on some of the potential solutions to climate problems, investigating peatland restoration and reforestation.
They will also meet readers from across Scotland – hosting eight climate chats – asking them what the climate crisis means to them ahead of the world climate talks in Glasgow.
A road trip diary, appearing daily on the websites for both titles, will capture the journey.
The team will also publish a short documentary about their trip to coincide with the talks beginning.
Peter John Meiklem, Head of Transport and the Environment for The Courier, said: “We have organised this road trip to better understand how the climate crisis is changing our communities.
“We hope to learn more about how the climate crisis is shaping our communities. To find out how the people who read and watch our content feel about the growing emergency. And to discover what they would tell the decision makers in Glasgow if they had the chance.
“Our journalists will stop in cities, towns and villages in the Highlands, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perthshire.”
Philippa Gerrard, P&J Environment and Transport Journalist, said: “It’s been an exciting adventure so far. Travelling such large distances in the electric van has been a real eye opener.
We plan to tell the climate stories that matter, taking the pulse of our communities as they stand on the brink of an enormous change.
“We want to capture their hopes and fears as Scotland heads down the road towards net zero emissions by 2045.”
As part of their radical newsroom restructure, a component of DC Thomson’s wider Transformation Programme, the News Brand teams are continuing to develop new ways of delivering news and digital storytelling. This includes advancing DC Thomson’s developing reputation for first-class environmental reporting across digital and print.
Community-focused car club operator Co Wheels is the transport sponsor for the trip, providing a new electric van to transport DC Thomson journalists on the journey.