Megan McCubbin has called for the media not to "sugarcoat" the issues impacting our environment and to give audiences the right "toolkit" to be able to take action.


McCubbin – a zoologist, conservationist and host of the BBC's Springwatch since 2020 – told that she uses her social media accounts to try and engage people, calling these tools "a very powerful platform, when used in the right way".

"As a tool, the importance of it can't be underestimated – and people do engage, people are interested in learning about these things," she insisted.

"I think sometimes, actually, the national media – radio, television programmes – we kind of sugarcoat things a lot... and the audience knows that, the audience knows when things have been sugarcoated.

"On social media, you've got the option to really hit home with these issues and talk about them, but also talk about the solutions. People could get really engaged and enthused by it and you get action – people turn up to peaceful protests, they sign petitions. You can really drive people to do something and that's critical."

More like this

McCubbin added that the media has to "be honest about the issues" facing our planet, "because if we sugarcoat them, nothing's going to change".

"The media has a real role in campaigning and lobbying, but also... giving all the right perspectives, the different perspectives, letting people make their own decision, but just not sugarcoating so much and giving people the toolkit to say, 'OK, this is the situation and here are the options of what we can be done about it.'"

Megan McCubbin, in a casual pink top, is smiling while feeding a leaf to a ring-tailed lemur perched on a wooden structure in an animal enclosure.
Megan McCubbin. BBC/Remarkable Television/Ian Turner

Highlighting climate change, our over-reliance on fossil fuels and the decline of UK wildlife as just a few of the pressing issues we face, McCubbin said that "people should feel angry" and "frustrated" about the state of the environment, urging those concerned to "get comfortable in using your voice".

"I always say to people, the biggest tool that you've got is your voice. So get comfortable in using your voice, get comfortable with being frustrated, and fight for what you love, fight for what you believe in.

"Individual action is important and we all know that we can all do more – plant-based diets, the way we travel, all of that kind of stuff – but actually talk to politicians, get in contact with the CEOs of mega businesses that fly around the world every five minutes."

Read more:

Leading the charge in this kind of climate activism, says McCubbin, are a generation of young people who are "more powered and more knowledgeable than ever, and way more than we ever give them credit for".

"When we're looking at climate change... for younger people, this is their immediate future. We've had incredibly hot summers in the last few years, and they'll be the coolest summers that these teenagers will ever experience. You know, they're seeing species for the first time and potentially the last time.

"Young people are passionate and they don't see the red tape that adults see. They don't see the paperwork, and the politics of 'if I do that, or say that, it might upset someone'. It's 'it needs to get done, so we'll just get it done'.

"That's great, that's refreshing – and older people should ultimately trust younger generations more than they do."

Visit again on Earth Day (22nd April) for more from Megan McCubbin.

Chris Packham is the guest editor of the latest issue of Radio Times magazine – for more from Chris and Megan, pick up the latest edition now.


Visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.