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National TV news is beginning to connect climate change to extreme weather. Now they must continue to deepen their coverage
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National TV news is beginning to connect climate change to extreme weather. Now they must continue to deepen their coverage

In 2021, national TV news has done a much better job of linking extreme weather events to climate change. During the record-breaking Western heat wave in July, 38% of broadcast and cable news segments from July 8-12 made the connection to climate change, while 36% of wildfire coverage from July 21-27 made the connection. More recently, Media Matters found that broadcast and cable TV news shows aired a combined 95 segments from August 11 through August 18 on myriad extreme weather events that spanned the globe and that just over 30% of these segments referenced climate change. By comparison, extreme weather events last year failed to propel TV news to discuss the climate crisis, including when temperatures in a small community in Siberia hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June 2020 followed by record-breaking and prolonged heat in large swaths of the U.S. and the most powerful hurricane to hit Louisiana in 150 years. Recognizing that national news programs have begun to more consistently link climate-driven extreme weather events to global warming, Media Matters conducted another analysis of recent extreme weather segments that aired on broadcast morning and evening news shows as well as all original programming on the major cable news networks. Our goal was to determine if, in addition to linking these events to climate science, this reporting also told a congruent story about extreme weather that incorporated the need for climate action, while highlighting how extreme weather events affect socially marginalized or vulnerable populations.  Our findings indicate that national TV news coverage of climate change is still failing to contextualize who is at greater risk from climate-driven extreme weather and why; still failing to detail how climate inaction has brought us to this precarious moment and what actions are needed to stave off the worst consequences of climate change; and still failing to grasp how seemingly disparate extreme weather events from around the world are connected. Rather than resting on their collective laurels, broadcast news shows and cable news networks must continue to address their climate coverage’s glaring blind spots. With peak hurricane season looming, coupled with a nearly year-long wildfire season, they will unfortunately have continued opportunities to do so.
PBS NewsHour significantly outperforms corporate broadcast nightly news shows in covering climate change
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PBS NewsHour significantly outperforms corporate broadcast nightly news shows in covering climate change

In 2019, PBS ran more segments on the climate crisis than ABC, CBS, and NBC combined.

Fox News' year of climate denial and conspiracy theories
www.mediamatters.org

Fox News' year of climate denial and conspiracy theories

If you want something for the holidays that will make you throw up in your mouth a little, try this montage. From Media Matters for America.

Only 7% of the questions at ABC's Democratic primary debate in Houston were about climate change
www.mediamatters.org

Only 7% of the questions at ABC's Democratic primary debate in Houston were about climate change

The climate crisis was the topic of 7 percent of questions during the ABC/Univision Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston on September 12. The moderators posed a total of 85 questions or invitations to speak on a topic, and just six were climate-related. ABC’s poor past record of climate reporting didn’t bode well for the debate, and indeed the moderators largely failed to engage the candidates in a substantive climate discussion.
Less than 10% of questions were about climate change at CNN's two-night debate in Detroit
www.mediamatters.org

Less than 10% of questions were about climate change at CNN's two-night debate in Detroit

Out of 242 total questions from CNN's moderators, just 23 focused on the climate crisis
How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2018
www.mediamatters.org

How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2018

For this study, Media Matters examined 2018 news coverage of climate change on broadcast TV networks, counting and analyzing segments devoted to climate change.

Here are two big things that were wrong with climate change coverage in 2018
www.mediamatters.org

Here are two big things that were wrong with climate change coverage in 2018

Major outlets reported too little on climate change driving extreme weather and too much on Trump, two analyses find.

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