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Covering the climate crisis requires the ability to look in many different directions at once, and reconcile them. Right now, it requires making room for urgent climate stories—from hurricanes in North America and record heat in Siberia to recently-updated future projections for global heating—amid an intensely crowded news cycle. As I wrote last week, it requires identifying and teasing out the intimate structural similarities and connections between the impact of climate change and this moment’s two biggest stories, the coronavirus pandemic and the movement for Black lives. It also requires, as Time’s Justin Worland suggested recently, looking forward in time, to imagine how future generations might assess the climate action we did and didn’t take in this historic year, and what we can still do now to influence the judgment of history.
And it requires looking back in time—to understand the roots of the ways we talk about climate change today, and how that legacy continues to influence our coverage. To that end, two recent studies are instructive. They shed light, respectively, on major outlets’ long-term indulgence of climate skepticism and the more recent impact of improved climate coverage in TV meteorology.
The former study was published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Rachel Wetts, an assistant professor at Brown University, took nearly 1,800 climate press releases that were issued, between 1985 and 2014, by business, government, and advocacy groups, and
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/climate_coverage_studies.php