Media coverage of Seattle’s citywide effort to reduce the use of plastic bags became a story on the impact to low-income people.
A newspaper report of New York City’s climate adaptation plan to respond to a potential 12- to 23-inch sea level rise featured a photo of a submerged Statue of Liberty from the fictional disaster flick “The Day After Tomorrow.”
Mainstream Reporting Raising Doubts
A March 2009 Gallup Poll survey points to “the highest level of public skepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade” of Gallup polling on the issue.
Welcome to Journalism's Brave New World
With luck and the passage of time, the annals of climate change will neither note nor long remember (thank you, Abe Lincoln) the communications imbroglio that for some, and too many, characterized the last two weeks of February 2009.
There were blossoms amidst these weeds and thorns, no doubting that. Slogging through the abundant muck was the downside.
Common Climate Misconceptions
The recent brouhaha (see related story, this posting) initiated by conservative columnist George Will’s February 15th syndicated column centers in part around his assertion that global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979, belying concerns of melting ice caps.
You can hear the two reporters and researcher laboring up the mountain, their boots scrunching against loose gravel, their lungs sucking in the Sierra air at 11,500 feet.
KQED radio’s Sasha Khokha and Gretchen Weber are reporting from Yosemite, following Portland State University geographer Hassan Basagic as he chronicles the decline of Dana Glacier over the past century.
It’s a compelling radio piece, but it’s only part of a multi-media package from the San Francisco-based public broadcasting station.
Dissecting Reporter Eric Pooley's Media Analysis
Veteran journalist Eric Pooley in January issued a powerful critique of the American press and its coverage of the 2008 cap-and-trade debate in the U.S. Senate. His central insight was that the “he said, she said” stenography that had once plagued coverage of climate science may be migrating into the climate change economics/policy debate.
On January 22 and 23, major new outlets reported on a study of tree death in the American West, a sobering analysis of how warmer temperatures affect old-growth trees.
The study was released that day in the journal Science. Trees have been dying faster than new ones can replace them for the last half-century, and the probable cause is a warmer regional climate and accompanying drought, the authors had written. The widespread coverage grew out of a teleconference organized on January 21 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes Science.