Well that’s a good thing.
Courtesy of The Verge:
Coverage of climate change on network news programs was up 68 percent in 2019 after a dip in 2018, according to an annual study by the nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters for America. But even though broadcast TV networks spent more time talking about climate change, they didn’t interview very many scientists, women, or people of color. Just 10 percent of guests were people of color, 27 percent were women, and 22 percent were scientists.
Protests, fires in the Amazon rainforest, elections, and the Green New Deal drove the rise in climate coverage last year. Nightly and Sunday morning news shows spent 238 minutes reporting on climate change in 2019, compared to 142 minutes in 2018. People are beginning to see and experience the dangers that climate change poses, Allison Fisher, a program director at Media Matters, tells The Verge, and that could be behind the bump in coverage. She adds, however, that it’s a problem that climate experts and communities on the frontlines of climate change are still underrepresented in the media.
Mass demonstrations across the globe in 2019 “just became impossible to turn away from,” Fisher says. “[Climate activists were] demonstrating every week, they’re walking out of school, they’re occupying offices of Congress … it really changed the way that the media was looking at this issue. They started looking at it through the eyes of people that were in the streets,” she says.
Some of the most influential activists stirring up the brouhahas around climate change are women and people of color, Fisher says. Activist Greta Thunberg incited so many students across the globe to walk out of class that Collins Dictionary named “climate strike” its word of the year in 2019. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced a resolution for a wide-ranging policy package called the Green New Deal. The push for a Green New Deal was also spearheaded by the youth-led activist group Sunrise Movement, which is headed up by Varshini Prakash who often speaks about how her grandparents’ hometown outside Chennai, India, was flooded in 2015 and remains vulnerable to sea level rise.
I would have to give a lion’s share of the credit for this uptick in reporting to Greta Thunberg.
Others certainly made a contribution but her advocacy spoke to people in a way that many other attempts have failed to do.
Al Gore made an entire movie about climate change, and did not even move the needle even a tenth as much as this little girl did in just one year.
Hopefully, future coverage will feature more scientists and resist the urge to provide “both sides” of the issue on their programs.
There are not two sides, there is only one side and anybody who claims there is another side is just fucking wrong.