MSNBC Climate Coverage Most Accurate, Study Finds
A new study released this month found that MSNBC had the most accurate climate coverage of three major cable news networks: MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News. The study, which was conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists and featured by the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, found that 92 percent of MSNBC’s segments on climate change in 2013 were entirely accurate, compared with 70 percent of CNN’s, and just 28 percent of Fox’s.
More than half of Fox’s misleading coverage comes from one program, “The Five.” Furthermore, as the report states, Fox News “hosts and guests regularly rejected established climate science as a base from which to argue against climate policies.” Most of MSBNC’s “inaccurate” coverage stemmed from debates the network hosted about the credibility of the science behind climate change. And while MSNBC’s coverage was the most accurate overall, the network aired “a handful” of overstatements about the links between climate change and extreme weather in 2013.
The Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media Staff
A Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) staff analysis of climate coverage on three major cable networks finds the liberal-leaning MSNBC coverage to be most accurate, CNN’s coverage too tainted by too many debates over what UCS considers “settled science,” and Fox News Channel’s coverage to most frequently be inaccurate.
Those findings in themselves are unlikely to surprise many in the policy community given UCS’s delicate balance between being a science organization and being an advocacy interest with a strong commitment both to the so-called “consensus” science on climate and to effective mitigation and adaptation strategies. But the study provides some findings that may salve or discomfort partisans on all sides of the policy divide.
The 12-page report by UCS communications officer Aaron Huertas, with assistance from program assistant Rachel Kriegsman makes the following points, among others, about each of the three cable news networks’ 2013 coverage of climate change:
Image credit: MSNBC via the Union of Concerned Scientists