How corporate ads are undermining journalism

Two weeks ago, a full page of misinformation appeared in the Washington Post.

In an advertorial taken out by Lawrence Gelman, readers were told that, “Man’s combustion of fossil fuels has no effect on temperature or climate” among other false claims that fly in the face of science. The ad reportedly cost Gelman $25,000.

This is indicative of a much wider problem with the news industry. The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, Axios, the Economist, and NPR, are among many of the media outlets who continue to run adverts from fossil fuel companies. …


And a national inquiry into the news media’s relationship with power

Chief Constable Andy Hayman had “a boyhood aspiration” of becoming a journalist.

In the early 2000s he was in charge of counter-terrorism and protecting Britain’s most powerful elite; the royal family and the prime minister. He studied criminology at Cambridge and rose through the ranks of the police force before becoming one of the highest ranking police officers in the country: Assistant Commissioner for Special Operations at the London Metropolitan police. When he started out as a constable in Norfolk, he probably never thought he would have such an exciting life.

In 2006 he was charged with heading the investigation…


On a grey Friday in August 2018, a 15-year-old girl sat down in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign. Less than a year later, that same girl was on the front cover of Time magazine: she became the youngest person to be named Time person of the year. In the time in between, millions of young people had taken to the streets inspired by her single act of courage, buoyed by a collective sense of a need to act on climate change.

The climate crisis needed a human face, a relatable figure with authenticity and passion to galvanise…


No one expects to be on holiday during the apocalypse.

At first, you don’t really notice the thin layer of haze that isn’t normally there, until the locals point it out. Hazardous air; it makes the typically blue sky look like a dirty windshield.

You watch the news, unable to believe what’s happening 1,500 km away. The end of the world is a 15 hour drive. Fires inch closer, but never quite make it to the town you’re in, protected by subtropical humidity. So you go to the beach and try to enjoy the roasting sunshine and the roar of the ocean. …


“Thank you!” says the man who smiled back at me from under his thick lumbersexual beard, “People don’t smile in this city anymore. I lived here 10 years ago and I’ve just come back from Texas and it’s completely different — unfriendlier.”

His name was Bret, we were on a street corner in Williamsburg.

There is nothing new under the sun and there is nothing new about New York. Everything has already been written about this city before. Including that sentence.

An older writer once told me, “take off your headphones. If you want to report the world, be in…


Candles
Candles

There is a shoebox in a storage unit that’s packed full of condolence cards. Squashed into that 30ft unit, the legacy of a life: bubble wrapped crockery, all the fridge-magnets my mum and I collected on our travels in a Tupperware box, handmade Christmas cards, photo albums, clothes, shoes, diaries, files — the gathered detritus of 59 years.

My parents were.

Past tense.

They died almost exactly four years apart.

Humanity has often wondered what happens after we die. For those we leave behind, it’s generally grief, and a lot of paperwork.

Two days after my father shuffled off, my…


Hello, my name is Chiara and I masturbate.

I’ve been doing it since I was about 7. I still remember the first time it happened.

Embarrassment warning: This might be an awkward read for the few colleagues who might read this and maybe my older brother too (who is the only person legitimately allowed to skip this part).

It was at my grandma’s house in Finland, and I was reading The Hobbit and suddenly something I was doing started to feel really, really good. (No, that doesn’t mean I have a thing for hobbits now).

I had no idea what…


I used to think that if I imagined something horrible, then it wouldn’t happen. I’d anxiously predict car accidents, all the potentially deadly ways I could fall off things, or things could fall on me; a headache that’s actually an aneurism, a plane crash — my own death in a million different ways.

The reality will not be so predictable.

Our deaths will not be glorious. They will not be heroic battles against a disease. They won’t be a tragic accident so brutal that it ends up on the news. …


The last time I bought something new to wear was in July 2014*: it was a pretty blue dress for my graduation. Since then, pretty much every piece of clothing that has found its way into my closet has been bought second-hand, inherited or borrowed.

You might say, “I could never do that”, but it’s way easier than it sounds. A large part of why I stopped buying new clothes was out of pure laziness, not just for the environmental high-ground.

Every purchase you make has implications far beyond your closet. Once you realise that, it’s surprisingly easy to consider…


It’s been nearly three years since I first turned up at Greenpeace International as a bright-eyed young intern, intent on saving the world one tweet at a time. I’ve learned some things since then.

  1. Climate change is complicated. Really complicated. It’s going to affect nearly every aspect of our lives on this planet. There isn’t one easy cure-all solution that will fix everything. But luckily there are a lot of brilliant people working on it.
  2. It is really hard to change people’s minds. Even when you have 97% of scientists on your side. People don’t like being told that they’re part of an enormous problem that’s very hard to solve. They like it even less when they realise that a serious upheaval is going to be needed to make it better.
  3. Activism comes in…

Chiara Milford

Sex, death, and planet Earth.

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