I had a look this morning at a breakdown of the press registration at this conference by country. Clear winners are Denmark and the UK, with 40 or so people each. Both of those are inflated figures, because some third-country and international organisations are covering the meeting out of Copenhagen and London (Japanese TV stations are listed as UK, for example, as is Al Jazeera English). But still there is a lot of genuine UK interest: national papers and the BBC. And the locals are out in force.
US representation, on the other hand, seems distinctly on the modest side. As far as I can see from the press room and by searching the papers’ web sites there’s no-one here from national papers (the Paris-based International Herald Tribune is a sort-of-exception) and not much broadcast. Time is listed as a media partner, but I haven’t seen Bryan Walsh here. The rest of the world is represented at a pretty low level, but still here — I was struck by a biggish contingent from Bangladesh.
Does it matter? Hard to say. The conference is hitting headlines, there are a lot of journalists for specialised outlets here, and the press room people say they are very happy with the level of coverage: Stefan Rahmstorf’s sea-level talk on Tuesday, which I didn’t see but which people here are talking about a lot, is getting a lot of pick up, to judge by Google News. But in the plenaries this morning John Schellnhuber and Nick Stern were reminding the thousand or so people in the room that this is one of the biggest stories in the world, and they were doing so pretty effectively. And part of the point of this meeting, as I understand it, is to take that same sort of approach and use it to set a scientific stage for the COP 15 “son of Kyoto” meeting, which will take place in the same large shed-like structure this December. By that standard, the coverage that I have seen (and I’ve been busy, to be fair, just talking to people at sessions, and may have missed lots of good stuff) seems a little thin.