Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The media and the energy battle

Newspapers are not helping to create awareness to the solutions for climate change.

Voters and taxpayers have a right to an informed debate on this vital topic.
Unfortunately, it's not an easy topic to get your head round.
And when it comes to selling newspapers, often it's only bad news that gets published.
That's why it's no surprise that a new survey shows that tabloid newspapers hardly ever cover climate change, and if they do, they only report bad news.
The vast majority (76%) of UK national newspaper readers are tabloid and middle market newspaper readers.
They see only 16% of the stories concerning climate change.
Survey reporters Futerra say: "Like terrorism... climate change is portrayed as a ‘big nasty’ to worry and feel guilty about, but not to take action on."
Very little of the newspaper coverage shows the positive steps that all of us can take to reduce energy use and curb climate change. It doesn't sell.
No wonder we're not meeting our carbon reduction targets.

"Climate of Fear" - The Sun

Most of the stories Futerra surveyed (59%) focused on the negative effects that climate change brings, with no mention of potential or even current solutions.
But some journalists are working hard to raise awareness of climate change. Fiona Harvey of the Financial Times is the most prolific national newspaper writer on climate change and also the most positive.
The media has the power to significantly influence the public’s attitudes on climate change.
We have to move from reporting that induces apathy or creates misconceptions, towards that which inspires action and informed thinking.

Key findings of the survey

> 59% of stories are "negative"
> 15% of stories are "balanced"
> 25% of stories are "positive"
The Independent and Independent on Sunday are publishing the most stories on climate change, followed by the Financial Times.
The Daily Mail and the Financial Times have the most "positive" coverage of climate change.
But no newspaper actually manages to reach a overall positive score, all being negative or, at best, balanced.
"This survey brutally demonstrates the desperate need to engage with the popular tabloid media with stories focused upon solution," concludes Futerra.
Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ;

No comments: