Broadcast Media Dropped The Climate Change Ball in 2016 UPDATED

Media Matters has an amazing and rather depressing report out on the way broadcast media in the US covered climate change.

I'm going to give you a handful of bullet points that reflect only some of the results of this detailed study, then you go read it.

  • Bottom line: Coverage in 2016 was a fraction of the previous year, even though there was more climate change news in 2016 than most years ever have.
  • ABC covered climate change for a total of six minutes during the entire year of 2016
  • None of the major networks discussed the climate related consequences of a Clinton vs. a Trump presidency
  • In most areas, PBS did better than the commercial networks.
  • There was not a single mention of national security concerns related to climate change, and almost noting on public health impacts
  • The Clean Power Plan was virtually ignored on Sunday shows and hardly covered anywhere else
  • Climate change denial got uncritical coverage by CBS, Fox and PBS, all sourced from Trump campaign people or Trump himself
  • The Exxon Knew story was completely ignored by the major networks.
  • Read: How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change in 2016

    Best and current books on Climate Change


    From Media Matters:

    U.S. senators are calling on broadcast networks to fulfill their duty and bolster their news coverage of climate change, after a Media Matters study found that the networks dramatically decreased their coverage of climate change in 2016, during a campaign in which the U.S. elected a climate denier as president.

    Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) issued statements this week calling on the major broadcast networks to fulfill their responsibility and provide audiences with essential reporting on the impacts of and science surrounding climate change, as well as related policies. The senators’ statements were made in response to a study by Media Matters finding that in 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.'s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015.

    Read the statements from the Senators here.

    More like this

    Just got this media release: Washington, DC – Today, Monday, from 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., tomorrow, Tuesday, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and throughout the week,* 19 Senators will take to the Senate floor to call out Koch brothers- and fossil fuel industry-funded groups that have fashioned a web of…
    Washington, DC - During a press conference today, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), announced the members of a newly formed Senate Climate Action Task Force and discussed their plans to take action on climate…
    From MMFA: Broadcast networks are decreasing their climate coverage at a time when the case for reporting on the issue is become more and more compelling. By ignoring this serious matter, media are failing to inform audiences about pressing impacts on human migration patterns, women, and the…
    Newspapers--and their localized science and environmental coverage--might be in decline across the U.S., but new ethnic media outlets, many of them in languages other than English, are thriving. These outlets will be centrally important for reaching broader audiences with localized and relevant…

    Mainstream media dropped the (climate)ball last year?

    Oh, yeah. Bigly.

    I never thought I'd say this, but I wish that was the only ball it dropped.

    It's as if there was something else that grabbed their attention...

    Something that always bugs me when I see this type of report. The difference in minutes over a full year is 7, 18, 40, and 32. Percentage wise it's a huge drop, but both numbers seem rather small.