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Chart on broadcast news coverage of climate change in 2012.
Jill Fitzsimmons at Media Matters has vivisected the coverage given in 2012 to climate change by the four broadcast news channels. Coverage on Sunday declined another notch. But while weeknight coverage improved over the past two years, it still fell far short of 2009, which wasn't all that great either. But then, considering how much attention the subject got from President Obama and the Republican presidential candidates, and, let's be fair, from us right here, expecting the corporate media to have done any better is a foolish wish:
Sunday Show Coverage Continued To Decline. Since 2009, climate coverage on the Sunday shows has declined every year. In 2012, the Sunday shows spent less than 8 minutes on climate change, down from 9 minutes in 2011, 21 minutes in 2010, and over an hour in 2009. The vast majority of coverage—89 percent—was driven by politics, and none was driven by scientific findings.

• ABC's This Week covered it the most, at just over 5 minutes.

• NBC's Meet the Press covered it the least, in just one 6-second mention.

Nightly News Coverage Increased Slightly From 2011, Driven By Extreme Weather. The nightly news shows devoted just under an hour to climate change in 2012, up from 38 minutes in 2011 but significantly less than in 2009. Coverage was largely driven—69 percent—by the extreme weather the U.S. experienced this year; 17 percent of coverage was driven by scientific findings and 12 percent was driven by political stories related to climate change.

• CBS Evening News covered climate change the most for a total of 22 minutes—a reversal from 2011, when the show covered climate change far less than ABC or NBC. [...]

•NBC Nightly News covered climate change the least at 17 minutes.

It's not just the time devoted to the topic, however. It's what was done with that time. Not a single Democratic politician was quoted on the Sunday news programs. On the nightly news programs, the situation was better: 60 percent Republicans; 40 percent Democrats.

But the priceless part of the "coverage" by the Sunday news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox was their failure to quote a single scientist on global warming in 2012.

And 2011.

And 2010.

And 2009.

Not a single one.

On the nightly news programs in 2012, two-thirds of the people cited in the total of 59 minutes of coverage were scientists.

This paltry coverage, and the skewed nature of the reporting that is done, contributes to the governmental and societal and individual failure to deal with global warming. Together with the funding of lies and smears by plutocrats such as the Koch brothers and the management of Exxon-Mobil and other fossil fuel magnates, the traditional media failure needs to be confronted on a daily basis by bloggers and social media not beholden to the interests that brought us to the ledge we now stand on. Even the evidence of actual climate change happening before their eyes has not shamed the media moguls to rebel against their masters. They are leaving it up to us.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:15 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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