David Roberts thinks Copenhagen is a bubbling cauldron of media hype.
Consider: Copenhagen maxed out on journalist registrations, at 5,000. Supposedly there were more than 10,000 waiting in line even after that. The place is choked with journalists, not to mention folks from think tanks and NGOs who are supposed to be blogging on it. There are thousands and thousands of people in a tiny area, each under instructions from their bosses to update frequently and find fresh news, each exhausted and stressed out, each desperate for something, anything to write about.
On the flip side, virtually nothing of actual importance to an international agreement will happen before the final days, perhaps the final hours, of the talks.
So what are all those journalists going to write about? They’re going to write about “Climategate.” They’re going to cover NGO events and reports. They’re going to write “local color” pieces on, say, Danish police preparation. Most of all, they’re going to report obsessively every time any representative of any government says anything, or anyone claiming to represent someone who represents a government says that someone else representing some other government said something. You get the idea—every bit of pre-positioning gossip and bluster will be blown up to billboard size.
There is, in short, immense incentive to exaggerate the significance of every piece of “news.”