Radio Free never takes money from corporate interests, which ensures our publications are in the interest of people, not profits. Radio Free provides free and open-source tools and resources for anyone to use to help better inform their communities. Learn more and get involved at radiofree.org

WASHINGTON – Media Matters for America’s annual study analyzing coverage of climate change on corporate broadcast nightly news and Sunday morning political shows found that in 2020, coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC plummeted by 53%. Overall coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday fell from an already dismal 0.7% in 2019 to 0.4% in 2020. Of real concern, nightly news and Sunday morning political shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC all decreased the amount of minutes and segments of climate coverage, despite numerous climate-fueled extreme weather events, repeated attacks on the environment by the Trump administration, and a presidential election in which climate change took center stage.

While the decline in climate change coverage is likely due to the hyperfocus on the deadly coronavirus pandemic that dominated news cycles for much of the year, corporate broadcast TV news also failed to expose the ways the climate crisis intertwined with the pandemic in 2020, with nightly news and Sunday morning political shows making the connection only three times.

“Like everything else it touched, the pandemic left its fingerprints on broadcast TV news climate coverage in 2020,” said Media Matters Climate and Energy Program Researcher Ted MacDonald and author of this study. “Coverage of the coronavirus certainly — and understandably — took airtime from the climate crisis, but it also provided valuable lessons. While the pandemic and the climate crisis are inexorably linked, corporate broadcast TV news largely failed to report on the connection between these two crises.”

Specifically, Media Matters’ study found that:

VIEW THE FULL STUDY HERE: https://www.mediamatters.org/broadcast-networks/how-broadcast-tv-networks-covered-climate-change-2020.

“Year after year, broadcast news programs have failed to deliver climate coverage that adequately reflects the scale of the climate crisis or the voices of those who are now experiencing or will soon inherit the worst of its impact, and 2020 is no different,” said Media Matters Climate and Energy Program Director Allison Fisher. “It’s past time to start centering women, people of color, and activists in climate coverage that is commensurate with the urgency of the climate crisis and driven by the boldest solutions to address it.”

Media Matters examined 2020 news coverage of climate change on corporate broadcast TV networks ABC, CBS, and NBC’s night news and Sunday morning political shows, counting and analyzing segments devoted to climate change and segments in which an employee of the network incorporated climate change or engaged with a guest who brought up climate change.

Citations

[1] How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2020 | Media Matters for America ➤ http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=xrGt1t7uuBhgNnBlEXO0-2BIwLOnFckHo-2FtV2UEGoC69AVpQ6k4Fn2FMzCgfyh-2BaTENv8KiBrQFjl0TatCcFI4bW1rb-2FYC-2BymvcCsNH9-2FDIGbbJTxawAlPy7ezuRbk-2BZBsllyTa8-2FJ5Q-2FVhfsi-2Fk7F4BMGfDsZMYyDKk6fcoKMxo6TqZaRTVQhhAAce4BjQGJ5dVzaVQYAWN7nfDdv6KQwhO9CuqbptLNj7eIW-2B2I5TVGpNcU4Cys-2FmjRkvIGcYvMhOd8niDRVK2RCQhjD-2Bya-2FpAwVG7I2bGafEiL1qUueUvXpDfq0JlTn9uYT8yGCEDpnr5yiq2qx70f-2FAUe57sJJmMJtLsIqUd7qj0BlRTU4A-2BF5BjcdMkpLFJ9cMXYuBixK4oJEBUiFe-2FPnBQIrfSXk0QR0URBrZFYgDeClvuNlttg8MKSBcAfoeGhgZaB1NQB2k7aTENMlqKWCl6umxgTNRvqDzkppQxbHX85yyzb0Gozm4MMcpZQKLQZOefZ3oIu9Ba9tQJjv5-2Bmztcg30smDExLMiyGlNnrzYi-2FCKVnvys8tX4bui0OMBS-2BR-2BHiIhWCxD3LcDDiZdz6Hp-2FJpTFi8R00OgmfWnNfcFjs1GPNvh-2BjkqIY1MlMGm8f8LWR80yxzo6roV4e4-2FC0inlcJgxjw0ZOo2DfJ7nHNMIqCGLMZ1gMJyAydRXM82kTEqdH7Z1CdLxrDs4FFGz1q5MNO4T9Gdkr1T8l5jQHX1VcmMRELjW-2Br7f0ETpdPyJoniJfqHZ3DlXy1jiT8eE-2BoSux-2BD-2BDdMsNxwkIFfan6OGBCvfxVMoWltaxzX3uOBPnqGMVw-2BttdXn00op6LeAvQFeEq8j5MpSgWz-2B5692HXetJu4i8E8PxEDmgxRTZRA-2BRQWU84JWm-2FvDbc_6Noc08JCLckBnQKYaMA7QhHoUhZ-2FQ-2BRzdbpeCX1kWXZX1q-2F0AUlW-2BKi-2FEu-2FKGC1ugDhxP4pWSnj-2BHzQSTjsBJGqvGZD39qjGLoPsxjlc41NL1JSbSq7lxSZAfq9AIGxfjZyGMUpDeoPCeeauUb3zdWybugA5y87HU7E8UJTL1qf9CEuNI8jX9NDFSm7YqTvXlRpe-2BVYJQTvb32nIyu8FYOidJ6Ug5sPpxGtejoArjiT5WcamtOzbOeWetgpODCG-2B5ABbcMpCO8qPUPOrKOJgnZMA-2BpmVQOeX1Sz1sZa-2FMsdAwxN-2FU6G9QGEAe1kGkPZ98Ved9f-2FW1t7D8Bt-2F7RHYECHiiYNFx8Fm1APRNGjfZcMSxY44C3dq8QOYBmLbqWbA1MtCLaWT-2F-2FjDb4GUR3pFVQ-3D-3D[2] How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2020 | Media Matters for America ➤ http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=xrGt1t7uuBhgNnBlEXO0-2BIwLOnFckHo-2FtV2UEGoC69AVpQ6k4Fn2FMzCgfyh-2BaTENv8KiBrQFjl0TatCcFI4bW1rb-2FYC-2BymvcCsNH9-2FDIGbbJTxawAlPy7ezuRbk-2BZBsllyTa8-2FJ5Q-2FVhfsi-2Fk7F4BMGfDsZMYyDKk6fcoKMxo6TqZaRTVQhhAAce4BjQGJ5dVzaVQYAWN7nfDdv6KQwhO9CuqbptLNj7eIW-2B2I5TVGpNcU4Cys-2FmjRkvIGcYvMhOd8niDRVK2RCQhjD-2Bya-2FpAwVG7I2bGafEiL1qUueUvUyTEWKD0qEPK390mGCUwVdZHp2ApN8G6ardKN1AD18td6cgKbvXzNKS6-2FVBkkhSO6hdITdsyvKUlCofOXHCIjGa3WxT6cKnJMVoK7sHocXRJZjJS69FQ5-2BzpLUzmsOT-2FN5lp7-2FCoBgADHKe6KQknXh0qYVBzWtdfXGrqK8Zy4hK52i7u3nl0p86GlbdmRYvo4gytsko21AqovEC2-2BQf4f54Frc6GZKT9G1S4-2Ba4E-2FnjHS3YcIFciuvnZ1EdCMytTey5jAGNUn-2BuyDxMqxqz06bMX3JSWcicBtaFLViLjoKGyPq-2BgaF3-2FnWT80ZJ9xLFMt7mfpn1Vvy8O0BHMMS-2BhrWPqFa4cl5RYwFqRSzEFDclvhHlzUQcm8ztoQ-2BmHiI7vMKlChxW6H7m4G8O59DwD1GlOvUYUBHQapKVoBGUjmC6HW07b8HuVbbZFZVhGaEh-2BnSvGlGJ8tvvBRxP3Emx7rWU2qxe79fB6mz-2BHWoECBw1aaZrwCdP6221b05r0JiSOw9vFxtfAMgPyMh1VyvwwFn9KTZWpqpxeRgYn8TeZIK4cQetCGVTCEVki8quWfWGVDOW-2FvyHKj8j3pUe5jiH6Hnqwdt_6Noc08JCLckBnQKYaMA7QhHoUhZ-2FQ-2BRzdbpeCX1kWXZX1q-2F0AUlW-2BKi-2FEu-2FKGC1ugDhxP4pWSnj-2BHzQSTjsBJGqvGZD39qjGLoPsxjlc41NL1JSbSq7lxSZAfq9AIGxfjZyGMUpDeoPCeeauUb3zdWybugA5y87HU7E8UJTL1qf9CEuNI8jX9NDFSm7YqTvXlRpe-2BVYJQTvb32nIyu8FYEDtUbpfbaoUsa6cCVJBEMWiiDtP9LF4Df-2Bjqc9cj86M6rMOc5W5NfISKQ2UvnzMT5oLDPxBkzZLhVnunTGaB-2FgBA21gZTdZfdy21lnOAvmh5g6evPRQvIAdbYr3fkfKMFtZpzTyFqvfKgLWQPdvLgTELdHIFeq8I83Rb6zr0N8Cg1ozd2FHOWBQSvv0j21jbA-3D-3D