Pew: Less Media On Climate in 2009 Than Two Years Previous


The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism is out with a new report on the media coverage--or should I say the lack of media coverage--of climate change and the environment in 2009. Turns out, that even as the science becomes more solid and temperatures continue to increase, there was less media coverage on climate and the environment this past year than the two previous years. Pew estimates that a paltry 1.5 percent of media stories were dedicated to global warming and the environment. The study ended on Dec. 6, after the so-called Climategate story but before COP15 took place. Its findings should be a wake up call to environmentalists that what we are doing is not getting through the media filter.

One noticeable example of success was's October 24th Day of Action, which received coverage in the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN and other prominent news outlets. But it took the unprecedented action of civil society groups on one day to drive the media attention, and clearly it has not been sustained.

A frequent target of mine are the Sunday public affairs shows--Meet the Press, This Week, and Face the Nation--which almost never cover climate change and when they do it's as a political story, not as a story worth real world consequences. One week before COP15 the guests on George Stephanopoulos's 'This Week' discussed health care, Afghanistan, Ben Bernanke possibly being the "smartest person in the world, and the White House party crashers, but they only spent about 5 minutes on climate change.

More on the Media and Climate:
With One Week Before Copenhagen, 'This Week' Covers White House Crashers, Almost Skips Climate Change
Hey David and George, You Might Want To Ask the President About Climate Change and Energy