Report: Most TV Coverage of Hurricane Ida Lacked Ties to Climate Change
Thursday, September 16, 2021
NEW YORK -- New research suggests corporate and cable TV news outlets failed to contextualize more frequent and extreme weather events to global warming while covering Hurricane Ida's impacts on New York and beyond.
Scientists have repeatedly warned climate change is exacerbating drought, wildfires and flooding, and making storms such as Hurricane Ida stronger.
Allison Fisher, climate and energy program director for the watchdog group Media Matters, said Americans are not getting the full story.
"The hesitancy to connect extreme weather events to climate change by these networks is very closely related to campaigns by the fossil-fuel industry to make climate change a third rail, make it confusing, to cast that doubt," Fisher contended.
The latest report by the world's top climate scientists confirms that less than a decade remains to dramatically cut greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels to avoid potentially catastrophic impacts. However, in the 96 hours of wall-to-wall coverage of the hurricane, just 4% of nearly 800 news segments aired by corporate broadcast and cable news outlets mentioned climate change.
Lizzie Freilich, a resident of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, said all news outlets, regardless of medium, should be contextualizing climate change into their reporting.
"News outlets bear the burden of informing people. That's what they're here for," Freilich asserted. "And if they're not reporting on this huge thing that's going to impact the lives of so many people, they're just doing a good job at their job."
Media Matters' report asserted not connecting the dots of major weather events and climate changes is "media malpractice."
Fisher added news coverage on Hurricane Ida did improve as the storm moved into the metro New York area. She emphasized it is important for climate change to become a bigger part of the national conversation, along with what is causing it: the burning of oil, gas and coal.
"Just to say 'climate change' is the first step," Fisher explained. "And then from there, it's where you need to start having the conversation of 'well, who is responsible, and what is responsible, and what is or is not being done to mitigate these problems or address these problems?'"
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A new survey shows most New Yorkers approve of medical aid-in-dying legislation, and advocates for end-of-life autonomy said it is …
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …
SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …
CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …