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UPDATE 1/16/14: A Media Matters study revealed that Sunday news shows spent 27 minutes covering climate change in 2013. While airtime did modestly increase from 2012, a group of senators sent a letter to the broadcast networks expressing "deep concern" over the continuing lack of climate change coverage.
UPDATE 5/14/13: With our partners, the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, we delivered more than 72,000 petitions to ABC, NBC, and CBS demanding more climate change coverage during their evening newscasts.
Twelve. That's the combined number of segments that ABC, CBS and NBC's nightly news programs devoted to climate change throughout all of 2012. This is woefully inadequate. We need coverage that's consistent with the importance of dealing with this issue.
That's why we and the Sierra Club are joining the League of Conservation Voters in asking those three nightly news programs to do a better job covering climate issues in 2013 than they did in 2012.
You can help out by signing the letter to Michael Corn, Executive Producer of ABC World News, Patricia Shevlin, Executive Producer of CBS Evening News, and Patrick Burkey, Executive Producer of NBC Nightly News, asking them to give us more frequent, accurate coverage of climate change this year.
Dear Mr. Corn, Ms. Shelvin, and Mr. Burkey,
Every night, tens of millions of people tune into the news on the major broadcasting networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC, expecting to learn about our nation's most pressing issues. Given the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, we urge you to give global warming the coverage that it warrants.
After experiencing the hottest year ever recorded in the United States and a series of devastating extreme weather events including wildfires, droughts, and storms like Hurricane Sandy, the American people need to know how changing climate is fueling this extreme weather and what we can do about it.
That can only happen if you devote more coverage to climate change, report on future extreme weather in a climate context, and interview more climate scientists who will be able to accurately connect the dots between human activity, climate change, and the weather we have been experiencing. Yet, a recent study by Media Matters for America found that throughout all of 2012, climate change was only featured in 12 segments on your nightly news programs combined.
Confronting the climate crisis is the challenge of our generation, and we urge you to honor the best traditions in American journalism by putting the focus on science and accurately reporting on climate change.