TV stations covered climate and environmental issues poorly on Earth Day compared to last year

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Although television networks and cable news channels produced strong climate and environmental coverage on Earth Day in 2021, they were unable to maintain momentum in 2022 and their combined coverage dropped by 48%.

Over the past year, the urgency to address climate change has only grown. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it’s “now or never” in terms of rapidly cutting carbon emissions to stave off the worst effects of climate change. Meanwhile, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up oil prices and increased global demand for fossil fuels.

Despite these new developments on the climate front, news programming on the ABC, CBS and NBC corporate television networks and programming on cable news channels CNN and MSNBC aired a total of 37 climate segments. and the environment – over 139 minutes – on April 22. , which is a commemoration of the birth of the modern environmental movement. That’s significantly worse than last year when news shows on those networks combined aired 64 segments over 268 minutes. Worse but not surprisingly, Fox News has once again used Earth Day to attack climate policies and cast doubt on the seriousness of the problems. The network aired 56 minutes of coverage across 18 segments.

Morning and evening news shows on the corporate television networks aired 20 segments related to climate and the environment on Earth Day

News shows on ABC, CBS and NBC aired 20 climate and environmental segments combined this year, for a total of just 71 minutes. This represents a 13% decrease from 2021, when these news shows aired 82 minutes of coverage across 26 segments.

NBC was the top performing corporate television network this year in terms of Earth Day coverage. The network aired 9 segments over 35 minutes. Last year, it aired 10 segments over 29 minutes, making it the only TV network to air more minutes of Earth Day-related coverage this year than last. This year, 8 of his 9 segments came on his morning show, Todayand 1 broadcast on evening news. In fact, much of the half hour between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. EST on Today was dedicated to covering Earth Day. Three segments came in the third hour of Today. But even though NBC devoted the most airtime to Earth Day coverage among its competitors, not all of the coverage was good — only two of its segments included direct references to climate change.

CBS aired 7 segments over 23 minutes, with 5 segments airing on CBS Matinees and 2 segments aired on CBS Evening News. Last year, the network aired 10 35-minute segments, and much of the second hour of the morning show was devoted to climate and environmental programming. CBS Matinees this year aired at least 2 separate climate segments that were longer than 6 minutes. While the segments were interesting, they weren’t necessarily crucial climate stories: one dealt with the climate impacts of wood pellet production, and the other dealt with how deep-sea animals can be used in the fight against climate change.

ABC aired 4 segments over 13 minutes this year, compared to 6 segments over 18 minutes last year. Three segments appeared hello americaand 1 came on world news tonight. The most notable segment featured ABC’s chief meteorologist Ginger Zee discussing her recent electric car trip to Miami. She noted that overall the trip was less expensive than a gasoline car trip would have cost.

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