Climate Coverage on Sunday Shows Skyrockets

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Climate coverage on Sunday shows skyrocketed in the first half of 2014, according to a new Media Matters analysis. Climate coverage in the first half of 2014 has already surpassed the coverage climate received on Sunday shows over the past four years. An uptick in newsworthy climate-related events, including the release of the National Climate Assessment, the discovery of an “unstoppable” collapse of an Anarctic ice sheet, a particularly brutal winter, and a new set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations, may have contributed to this year’s spike in coverage. Another key factor may have been the call for increased climate coverage by nine U.S. senators in January of this year. All-in-all, however, climate coverage on Sunday shows remains low: this year’s cumulative total so far for ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX? One hour and five minutes.
 

Sunday Shows Cover Climate Change As Much In First Half Of 2014 As In Last Four Years Combined

Laura Santhanam, Contributor to Media Matters
 
Already in 2014, climate change-related events have garnered more attention than they did in 2013 on the Sunday shows. The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that climate change will jeopardize food security, harm economies around the globe, worsen coastal flooding, trigger heat waves and more if global warming remains unmitigated. The federally mandated National Climate Assessment sounded the alarm that climate change already has started to leave its mark on the United States with more droughts, hotter temperatures, and rising sea levels — and several extreme weather events in the U.S. this year illustrated these changes. Scientists discovered the “unstoppable” collapse of an Antarctic ice sheet, which could trigger a dramatic rise in sea levels. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants to combat global warming and improve public health. [New York Times, 3/31/14; Media Matters, 5/9/14; Media Matters, 5/14/14; Media Matters, 6/6/14]
 
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Image credit: Media Matters

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