A former senior News Limited journalist has described trying to write about human-induced climate change at The Australian newspaper as "torture" and has blamed the editor-in-chief for limiting coverage on the topic because he has "taken a political view".

Asa Wahlquist mounted an off-the-cuff defence of environmental reporting on a panel at yesterday's journalism educators conference in Sydney, explaining the difficulties of having stories published about climate change because of the attitude of and pressure from senior editors at the paper.