For years, conventional wisdom has held that climate coverage is not especially good for business. The story always seemed too abstract, or too technical, to command attention. “It was pathetic,” David Gelber, who for decades was a producer at CBS’s 60 Minutes, says, reflecting on the consistent absence of environmental reporting in mainstream outlets. “It baffles me. This is such a dramatic story. When they write the history of journalism, this is going to be a very long chapter, the refusal to look at this issue.” In 2011, Gelber left CBS along with a fellow 60 Minutes producer, Joel Bach, to develop Years of Living Dangerously, which cast celebrities (Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle) as climate-journalism field correspondents. It aired for two seasons on two different networks; the show drew praise and won an Emmy, but couldn’t sustain interest from studio executives.
Environmental journalism continues to be perceived as unpopular: last July, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes—who devoted a week of his show to climate change in 2016 and appeared on Living Dangerously—described climate coverage as “a palpable ratings killer.” Last fall, when the United Nations released a landmark climate report concluding that disastrous impacts of warming were nearer than previously thought and that rapid, worldwide changes were necessary, many leading outlets didn’t cover the news at all. This spring, major networks devoted significantly more airtime to the royal baby than they did to climate change; ABC’s World News Tonight, in particular, gave the baby more coverage in a week than
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/covering_climate_now/climate-change-stories-readers.php