Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CNN Runs More Fossil Fuel Ads than Major Climate Stories

Media Matters bar chart of CNN coverage of fossil-fuel vs. climate (Credit: Media Matters) Click to Enlarge.
If you tuned into CNN earlier this year, when NASA and NOAA announced that 2015 was the hottest year on record, you weren’t likely to see much coverage of that announcement.  In fact you were more likely to see an ad for the fossil fuel industry than a news story on how fossil fuels are driving the planet’s warming, according to a new report.

The report, released Monday by Media Matters, looked at CNN’s coverage in the one-week periods following the news that 2015 set the record for the world’s hottest year (January 20-26) and that February 2016 was the hottest February in 137 years of record keeping (March 17-23).  It found that CNN spent nearly five times as much time airing fossil fuel industry advertisements in these two week-long periods than it did airing coverage of climate change and the recent records.  The network spent 23.5 minutes on ads from the American Petroleum Institute, compared to five minutes spent on news coverage on climate change.

CNN spent less than one minute on coverage of January’s hottest year announcement, but it spent 13.5 minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening airing fossil fuel industry ads.  Then, following the February announcement, CNN spent four minutes on climate-related coverage and 10 minutes airing fossil fuel ads.  And this coverage didn’t always mention climate change — “on March 18, CNN anchors Christine Romans and John Berman delivered nearly-identical reports on February’s ‘astounding’ temperature record during the 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. editions of Early Start, respectively, but neither explicitly mentioned climate change or the role fossil fuel pollution and other human activities play in driving climate change,” the report notes.

In fact, according to the report, only one segment on the unusually high temperatures mentioned climate change.  CNN didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.

Read more at CNN Is More Focused On Running Fossil Fuel Ads Than It Is On Covering Major Climate Stories

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