Mainstream Media Outlets

MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLETS

MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLETS

You might have been dismayed to note that on May 6, 2019, the day the royal baby was born in London, the United Nations released a summary of a major new report warning that human destruction of the natural world, including through climate change, now threatens up to a million species with extinction. CBS was the only national broadcast network that ran a segment on the biodiversity report that night.

Many felt that mainstream media had not done enough to cover climate change and a paper from the Columbia Journalism Review in 2019 addressed this issue brilliantly and in-depth.

Subsequently they and The Nation, in partnership with The Guardian, created the Covering Climate Now project to encourage media to focus on climate change coverage between September 16-23, 2019. By September 2020, CCN had 400 news outlets as partners with a combined audience approaching 2 billion people. One stunning non-profit, InsideClimate News, also partnered, in the spring of 2019, with fourteen newsrooms in nine mid-western states, publishing articles on three climate-related themes: agriculture, transportation and the electric grid. The results are fabulous.

Climate Desk is another multi-media journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are: The Atlantic, Atlas ObscuraBulletin of the Atomic ScientistsCityLab, GristThe Guardian,  High Country News, HuffPostMediumMother Jones, National Observer, Newsweek, RevealSlateThe Weather ChannelUndarkWired and Yale Envirnoment 360 .

TIME distinguished themselves in 2019 as well, selecting Greta Thunberg as the 2019 Person of the Year, and later published Bill McKibben in a “double” issue titled 2050: How Earth Survived on September 23, 2019.

One of the key newspapers on our list is The New York Times, which published nearly 800 articles about climate change in 2018. At the end of 2019, The Times made available a stunning compilation of their best climate change stories from that year.

As national print media evolved into digital, video, and audible delivery of news, some other remarkable results have emerged such as this multi-media series at The Washington Post in 2019Gone in a Generation.

What about 2020? 

Wired Magazine, in the midst of the Coronavirus madness, marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by devoting their entire April issue to climate change…as did National Geographic. CNN marked it as well, broadcasting what Mark Hertsgaard called, one of the “very best pieces of climate journalism ever run by a mainstream US news organization”: The Road to Change: America’s Climate Crisis, with Bill Weir.

On July 9, 2020, Time ran another cover story exploring how the coronavirus pandemic would affect our ability to focus on climate change in Justin Worland’s stunning piece, One Last Chance, The Defining Year for the Planet.

The New Yorker chose October to publish The Fragile Earth edited by David Remmick, an anthology of their amazing reporting on climate change over the past three decades — from Bill McKibben, writing one year after James Hansen first warned a Senate committee about climate change in 1988, to Pulitizer Prize winners Elizabeth Kolbert, Kathryn Schulz, and essays by Jonathan Franzen, Ian Frazier, and more.

In late December, as 2020 came to a close, The New York Times posted this stunning interactive roundup from their climate desk.

What's new in 2021?

Who can deny the power of Bill McKibben in The New Yorker on 1/22/2021 as he wrote “To Counter Climate Change, We Need to Stop Burning Things."

And, would you believe that in June, 2021, The Weather Channel had a new forecast: More viewers want climate change news! They even plan to “retool their morning program, ‘America’s Morning Headquarters’ so that its largest segment, between 7am and 10am eastern, offers ‘more storytelling, more video, more discussion about climate sustainability.” And, that’s not all. Media across the country covered the incredible heat oppressing the Pacific Northwest this June and July and Carbon Brief, one of our best sources of climate news, covered their coverage--simultaneously explaining the connection of climate change with this unprecedented heat.

What’s New in 2022?

  • In the Spring, Frontline launched on PBS an incredible 3-part series on the Power of Big Oil , discussing the industry which has long used its money to buy the appearance of grassroots public support for its policy preferences.
  • In September, after Fiona was more or less done, Hurricane Ian hit and coverage by corporate news was extensive and voluminous. Media Matters took a look in order to discover how much climate change was included in the 57 hours of coverage between September 24-28.  It was mentioned 46 times.   Seven of those mentions, appearing on Fox News, were in the context of climate denial.
  • In October Covering Climate announced the winners of their second annual journalism awards honoring journalists producing "the strongest coverage of the onrushing climate emergency." Justin Worland, senior correspondent for TIME, was named Climate Journalist of the Year. Award winners will be featured in a one-hour special hosted by Al Roker, co-host of NBC News’ TODAY and Savannah Sellers, host of NBC’s Stay Tuned and NBC News NOW anchor. It will air on October 25, 2022 on the WORLD Channel, which is broadcast by 191 public television stations nationwide.

What’s new in 2023?

Major print media created some stunning special reports on climate – all in August. First, The New York Times blew us out of the water with The Energy Transition, bringing together journalists --with expertise in climate change, politics, regulation and the energy and automobile industries-- who synthesized information gathered from around the country: The Clean Energy Future is Arriving Faster Than You Think hereThe Clean Energy Future is Roiling Both Friends and FoesThe Clean Energy Future is a Battle for Hearts and Minds.

The following week, The Los Angeles Times published their own special section: How bad the climate crisis gets is still up to us. We just have to act. Sammy Roth led off reminding us that even as California was ahead of the game two decades ago, we need to work a lot harder now; the staff brought in experts to work on how; Rosanna Xia reimagined California’s vanishing coastline; Dorany Pineda gave us a snapshot of California “big five climate threats,” what’s being done, and where we are falling short. And, then there were guides on solar, EVs, eco-friendly toys and more.

A week later, Wired joined in recapping the summer in 10 alarming maps and graphs as it gathered together the harrowing stories of those months – on the staggering heat both land and ocean endured, the droughts, the wildfires and consequent smoke, the precipitation, the tropical storms, the flooding.

Already in early July, the hottest month in recorded history, CCR did a People Are Talking About…the unprecedented rain, floods, fires, smoke and deadly heat which you can see here.

What’s new in 2024?

Covering Climate has supplied a brilliant tool for journalists: Reporting on Climate and the US 2024 Elections

CURRENT NEWS

Trump’s corrupt offer to Big Oil executives almost entirely ignored in top local newspapers and TV markets in battleground states

By Allison Fisher & Rob Savillo 05/17/24
The Washington Post published an exclusive story on May 9 about a dinner at Mar-a-Lago last month in which presumptive Republican 2024 nominee Donald Trump reportedly promised to reverse President Joe Biden's actions on climate…
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How Oil Companies Manipulate Journalists

By Molly Taft 05/15/24
Kill the story.” That’s what Alan Jeffers, a media relations manager at ExxonMobil, told the Houston bureau chief of Reuters in October 2016, about a year after InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia…
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Climate Reporters Share Tips for Investigating the Fossil Fuel Industry

By Serdar Vardar 05/02/24
There is a “central contradiction” that sums up the problem of our energy consumption — and journalists’ efforts to hold the fossil fuel industry to account, observed Anne Koch, GIJN program director, at this year’s…
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Climate on the Ballot:This Week: Denial & Disinformation

04/22/24
The number of Americans who say that global warming is happening now outnumber those who don’t by nearly five to one (72% versus 16%). If only members of Congress reflected their constituents.
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Help Audiences Understand Who’s Spreading Climate Disinformation — and Their Political Aims

By CCNOW 04/15/24
The number of Americans who say that global warming is happening now outnumber those who don’t by nearly five to one (72% versus 16%). If only members of Congress reflected their constituents.
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The mainstream media’s climate coverage is blinkered and condescending

By Steve Krakauer 04/10/24
Sunny Hostin of “The View” had a theory about Monday’s solar eclipse, which coincided with a rare East Coast earthquake. “Either climate change exists, or something is really going on,” she told her co-hosts, who…
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Reporting on Climate and the US 2024 Elections

By CCNOW 04/10/24
Climate is on the ballot this election year. Scientists agree that Earth is close to reaching a number of tipping points as a result of human-caused global heating, and the actions taken — or not…
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Big Meat is lying about sustainability. These media outlets are helping.

By Emily Atkin and Arielle Samuelson 03/06/24
First, Letitia James took on Donald Trump. Now, she’s taking on the meat industry. In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit filed last week, the New York Attorney General accused JBS USA—the American arm of the world’s largest…
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AOC on The Green New Deal’s Anniversary

By The Brian Lehrer Show 02/21/24
For our climate story of the week, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14th District) talks about the fifth anniversary of The Green New Deal, its accomplishments so far, and the local and national priorities on…
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This is the year of the climate election. Journalists should cover it that way | Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

By John Crace 02/07/24
Fact one: more voters face national elections in 2024 than ever before in recorded history – about 4 billion people, nearly half the human population.
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A Look at TIME’s Century of Climate Change Coverage

By Sam Jacobs 11/16/23
In January of 1938, TIME’s editors considered how the sun might become a future energy source. A year later, TIME observed that scientists were seeing evidence of a warming planet. In 1953, TIME cautioned that…
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Climate solutions are necessary. So we’re dedicating a week to highlight them

By Julia Simon 10/02/23
Climate change is here. And this week, NPR is doing something new. We're dedicating an entire week to focus on the search for climate solutions, with stories across our network.
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MORE NEWS

Lachlan Murdoch ‘doubling down’ on right-wing strategy with Tony Abbott’s nomination to Fox board, say critics

By Tory Shepherd   09/23/23  
The endorsement of former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott for a position on Fox Corporation’s board by Lachlan Murdoch shows he is “doubling down” on the company’s “right-wing crusading”, critics say.
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The Brian Lehrer Show’s ‘Climate Story of the Week’

09/23/23  
Damian Carrington, environment editor at The Guardian, discusses his reporting on 'carbon bombs,' as well as the events from this week's UN Climate Ambition Summit.
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Can We Talk to Whales?

By Elizabeth Kolbert   09/04/23  
David Gruber began his almost impossibly varied career studying bluestriped grunt fish off the coast of Belize. He was an undergraduate, and his job was to track the fish at night. He navigated by the…
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Despite clear signals that Hurricane Idalia was influenced by climate change, less than 2% of TV news coverage made the link

By Allison Fisher   09/01/23  
Hurricane Idalia slammed into Florida's Gulf Coast on the morning of August 30 as a Category 3 storm with wind speeds of 125 miles per hour. Major print news outlets such as The Associated Press,…
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Extreme heat edition

By Matt Simon   08/29/23  
Summer is coming to an end, and what a summer it has been. The various catastrophes that scientists had warned about—extreme heat, flooding, wildfires—hit full-tilt over the past few months.
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Media reaction: Extreme weather hits world’s seven continents in July 2023

By Rebeca Binda and others   07/18/23  
The start of July saw Earth experience its hottest week on record. Extreme weather events across the globe this month have already featured on more than 114 frontpages in at least 84 newspapers, published across…
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Oil companies are laughing while the world burns

By Arielle Samuelson and Emily Atkin   07/11/23  
Over the July 4th holiday, while Americans were firing up their barbecues and setting off fireworks, the world broke a new record. Earth had her three hottest days ever recorded since instrumental measurements began in…
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Meteorologist on receiving death threats over his climate crisis reports

07/08/23  
Some scientists believe that July 4th may have been one of the hottest days on Earth in 125,000 years, and we keep breaking these records. The earth’s average temperature set a new unofficial record on…
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Exposing the Financial Costs of Climate Change – and Denial of the Climate Crisis

By Mark Schapiro   10/18/22  
In August, President Biden took his right hand and applied his signature to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — signaling that the government would be tipping scales in the economy toward renewable energy. While unanimous…
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Climate denial has marred national TV news coverage of Hurricane Ian

By Allison Fisher   09/30/22  
On September 24, as Hurricane Ian strengthened, Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the entirety of Florida. Late afternoon on September 28, the hurricane made landfall on the west coast of the…
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The fossil fuel industry’s fake news sites

By Emily Atkin   08/25/22  
In an attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Russian disinformation agents created Twitter profiles meant to look like local newspapers. Named things like The Milwaukee Voice, The Seattle Post, and…
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Right-wing media downplay climate change amid deadly extreme heat, attack idea that we are in a climate emergency

By Zachary Pleat & Ilana Berger   07/21/22  
In Europe, extreme “red” heat warnings were issued in the United Kingdom for the first time, and Wales recorded its highest-ever temperature. Railroad lines, major highways, and airport runways in the U.K. buckled under the…
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Weather Forecasters Are Now Connecting Hot Days to Climate Change

By Alejandro De La Garza   07/20/22  
Houston, Texas, is experiencing its hottest summer on record, with sizzling stretches of triple digit days and rolling blackouts caused by extreme power demand. Lena Arango, a local meteorologist at FOX26, wanted her viewers to…
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National TV networks mention climate change in 32% of segments on global extreme heat

By Ted Macdonald   07/19/22  
Punishing extreme heat is affecting countries all across the globe this week. Extreme “red” heat warnings were issued in the United Kingdom for the first time, and Wales recorded its highest-ever temperature. At least 1,100…
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In a segment riddled with lies, Tucker Carlson dismisses the climate crisis and actions to address it

By Alicia Sadowski   07/08/22  
Just a week after the Supreme Court effectively gutted the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases in the United States, Fox’s leading prime-time hack Tucker Carlson hosted fringe right-wing Dutch commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek,…
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Right-wing media use Biden’s green economy comments to launch a full-scale defense of fossil fuels

By Ted Macdonald   05/26/22  
When Biden pivoted from a question about gas prices to a “transition” away from fossil fuels in a Tokyo press conference, it drew the ire of right-wing media, who are firmly opposed to the idea…
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How TV coverage of climate solutions has evolved in the past 5 years

By Ted Macdonald   04/22/22  
In order to get people motivated to combat climate change, it is extremely important for climate change reporting to discuss solutions to this challenge and actions that can be taken to prepare for it. However,…
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How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2021

By Ted Macdonald   03/24/22  
2021 was a stand-out year for climate coverage on corporate broadcast TV networks. In our annual analysis of climate coverage, Media Matters found that approximately 1,316 minutes — nearly 22 hours — were spent discussing…
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AP announces sweeping climate journalism initiative

Press Release: The Associated Press   02/15/22  
The Associated Press announced today it will significantly expand its climate coverage, creating a standalone desk that will enhance the global understanding of climate change and its impact across the world.
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Into the Red: How the Globe will cover climate change

By Steven Wilmsen   01/20/22  
his is how long we have ignored warnings of a coming crisis: It’s been more than half a century since a presidential panel under Lyndon Johnson found that fossil fuel emissions could be warming the…
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Climate change news coverage reached all-time high, language to describe it shifting

By Kelsey Simpkins   12/21/21  
United States news coverage of climate change reached an all-time high in October and November, according to recent data from the Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO), an international, multi-university collaboration based at the University…
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National TV news keeps ignoring the human costs of extreme weather events

By Evlondo Cooper   10/07/21  
I’m writing this from New Orleans a little more than a month after Hurricane Ida devastated Southeast Louisiana—after most national TV crews have long since packed up and left. A blue tarp lies atop my…
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Critics blast Facebook pledge to curb climate change misinformation

By David Knowles   09/22/21  
Facebook's latest pledge to curb climate change disinformation on its platform is getting a skeptical reception from activists and industry watchdogs.
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Bill Gates Backs Climate News Outlet ‘Cipher’

By Michael d'Estries   09/22/21  
In his review of Bill Gates’ February 2021 book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” environmental activist Bill McKibben praised the billionaire and Microsoft co-founder for his “affection for his home planet,” but poor interpretation…
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Late-Night Shows Are Teaming Up to Tackle Climate Change

By Dave Itzkoff   09/15/21  
Climate change may not be the easiest subject to laugh about, but a group of late-night hosts are teaming up in hopes of raising awareness about the issue and even finding some humor in it.
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Why TV Is So Bad at Covering Climate Change

By Molly Taft   07/20/21  
On Saturday, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University, tweeted that she’d be appearing on CNN to talk to Fareed Zakaria about the record-breaking heat wave gripping the West. The next day, she announced her segment had…
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Media reaction: Pacific north-west ‘heat dome’ and the role of climate change

By Ayesha Tandon and Giuliana Viglione   06/30/21  
Less than two weeks after record-breaking temperatures forced California into a state of emergency, a severe heatwave has swept over northwestern US and Canada, shattering records across the region...
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Weather Channel’s New Forecast: More Viewers Want Climate Change News (EXCLUSIVE)

By Brian Steinberg   06/14/21  
Accelerating climate change and its far-flung effects have  fast become the most important story in the news cycle. But that isn’t always the stuff that gets talked about or tweeted — or the biggest ratings.
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How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2020

By Allison fisher and evlondo cooper   03/10/21  
As the coronavirus pandemic raged across the U.S. and took up much of the airwaves last year, every nightly news and Sunday morning political program on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as the Sunday…
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How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2019

By Ted Macdonald   02/27/20  
The volume of climate change coverage on the corporate broadcast nightly and Sunday morning news shows increased 68% from 2018 to 2019. Despite this increase, climate coverage as a whole still made up only 0.7%…
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PBS NewsHour significantly outperforms corporate broadcast nightly news shows in covering climate change

By Allison fisher   02/27/20  
In 2019, PBS ran more segments on the climate crisis than ABC, CBS, and NBC combined. PBS NewsHour has traditionally outperformed its broadcast counterparts in both the scope and depth of its climate coverage.
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Doom and Gloom: The Role of the Media in Public Disengagement on Climate Change

05/29/18  
In July of 2008, as a national broadcast correspondent, I reported on environmental conditions in Newtok, a remote community of roughly 400 Yup’ik people in Northwest Alaska. Newtok was losing forty to a hundred feet…
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The Year In Climate

By Claire O’Neill and Nadja Popovich   12/17/20  
2020 was a crisis year: a pandemic, economic turmoil, social upheaval. And running through it all, climate change. Here’s some of the best reporting from The Times’s Climate Desk.
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How to Save a Planet

By How to Save a Planet   08/20/20  
Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: what do we need…
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