Most major American TV stations seldom mention climate change in their coverage of extreme weather events, according to a new survey released by the the media criticism group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). The survey, covered in a recent Think Progress article, analyzed news segments covering hurricanes, drought, wildfires, floods and heat waves from CBS Evening News, ABC World News, and NBC Nightly News during the first nine months of 2013. Only 16 of the 450 total segments mentioned climate change. This means that an astounding 96 percent of stories about extreme weather events from January to September 2013 contained no discussion of climate change whatsoever. CBS Evening News’ coverage contained the fewest mentions of climate change: just two of 114 extreme weather segments mentioned the terms “climate change,” “global warming,” or “greenhouse gases.”
By Emily Atkin, Reporter, Think Progress
2013 was a big year for climate. Global carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million for the first time in recorded history; global sea levels hit a record high; oil spills, coal mine landslides, and gas explosions beset the world.
But arguably the most visible and persistent climate event was the increase in ferocity of our weather. 2013 was marked by extremes in temperature and precipitation, conditions that fueled deadly wildfires, flooding, and storm surges.
Despite those facts, America’s major television news stations mostly failed to mention climate change when reporting on events like deadly flooding in Colorado, the string of major wildfires across the American West, and bouts of unseasonable temperatures across the country.
Those are the findings of a new survey released by Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR), a progressive media criticism group. The results were achieved through analysis of extreme weather news reports with more than 200 words from CBS Evening News, ABC World News and NBC Nightly News for the first nine months of 2013. Extreme weather event reports analyzed included news about hurricanes, drought, wildfires, floods and heat waves.
Read more here.