Media Coverage on Climate Change Takes Another Big Dive

Every year that passes without major reform to address climate change, the need to discuss climate change and spur that action increases by multitudes. Nevertheless, network news coverage of climate change actually decreased by nearly half in 2018, according to an annual Media Matters study released this Monday.

The previous yearís report on 2017 coverage actually seemed encouraging since it showed the trend reversing with networks boosting their climate-related air time from 50 to 260 combined minutes. However, 2018 proved it was two steps forward and one step back since the coverage sunk back down to 142 minutes for a 45 percent decrease.

NBC was the lone network to increase the amount of coverage, thanks in large part to a Meet the Press special that devoted an entire hour to climate change. Without that single broadcast, however, the networksí average would be even more shameful.

Yet again, the real clunker in the field is ABC, which decreased its coverage on global warming by 81 percent for a total of under 11 minutes, with just a single segment giving attention to a scientist. Fox dedicated a similar amount of time to the topic on its programs, as well.

For all of the Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael stories the networks took on in 2018, broadcasters dropped the ball on bringing up climate change. Irresponsibly, not one network story on these disasters linked climate change to the rise of extreme weather.

Things get even worse when you realize that nine of the segments on climate change were actually focusing on President Donald Trump casting doubt on climate change, seven of which didnít even take the opportunity to point out that Trumpís stance is at complete odds with the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community.

Looking through the Media Matters study, Think Progressís Joe Romm seems extra perturbed by how almost all of the network coverage ignored offering solutions to avert the coming catastrophe. He linked to research that shows the public tends to check out on the doom and gloom aspect of climate change, but become more engaged when potential actions and answers are included.

Think Progress does hold out hope that 2019 will be a rebound year on climate coverage thanks to politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beating the drum on policies like the Green New Deal, though just a couple months into the new year, itís hard to plot the total trajectory.

 

Take Action!

In the past, thousands of Care2 members have petitioned ABC calling on the news presidents to deliberately enhance and increase their climate coverage. Now that ABC is the worst offender again, letís reignite our effort by boosting the petition further Ė sign it here!

If youíre feeling especially passionate, perhaps youíd be interested in starting a petition of your own directed at the other networks telling them to do a better job, as well:

57 comments

Ellie L
Past Member 2 months ago

signed

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Ann B
Ann B2 months ago

Every news station is so busy falsifying politics they cant see anything else

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David C
David C3 months ago

thanks

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld3 months ago

Clare O.,
Good point. Everyone should inform themselves, and not rely on the media.

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O3 months ago

keep reading and reviewing books and articles on threatened nature

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O3 months ago

plant more trees and green urban spaces and say why

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O3 months ago

just keep talking, keep getting the message out

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O3 months ago

Congressperson Ocasio is doing well on instagram so he mainstream news firms are becoming less relevant to many

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O3 months ago

th

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld3 months ago

Shelley W.,
That is a common ploy among the less knowledgeable here. Whenever someone makes a scientific post, they insult and belittle them. Little do they realize it is really a reflection of their lack of knowledge.

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