Journalism by committee is usually to be avoided but, despite itself, a leader article published today in 56 newspapers across 45 countries – and in 20 languages – is surprisingly cogent. And readable. (My New Statesman colleague George Eaton has pulled out the key passages).
Of course, getting papers to agree in principle was the easy bit. The trickier job would be producing a text that everyone could sign up to. After a slightly uncomfortable exchange with an Italian colleague in which I referred to climate change as our “what did you do in the war, daddy?” issue, it was clear that historical analogies were going to be fraught.
Katz also notes some notable absentees:
Anyone studying the list of newspapers behind the editorial will quickly spot one glaring gap: the absence of any first-rank US paper. A number of major US titles evinced support for the project, even conceding that they agreed with everything in the editorial, but stopped short of signing up, leaving the admirably independent-minded Miami Herald as the sole representative of the world’s second biggest polluter. (Next time you’re in Florida buy two copies.)
You can see some more of the front pages here.