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Coalition Delivers 72,000 Petitions To NBC, ABC, CBS Demanding More Climate Change Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Gohringer, (202) 454-4573 or jeff_gohringer@lcv.org

14 May 2013  

Washington D.C.—The League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Sierra Club and Media Matters for America delivered more than 72,000 petitions they collected demanding that ABC, NBC and CBS provide more climate change coverage during their evening newscasts. The petition campaign followed a Media Matters study which found that these networks featured only 12 climate change segments last year, a time of historic extreme weather including record-breaking heat waves, droughts and Superstorm Sandy.                               

“What we’re seeing outside our window should be reflected on our television screens. We saw historic climate-fueled extreme weather last year, but the major network newscasts barely mentioned climate change at all. It’s clear from the response to this petition that the American people don’t want to see the same old coverage this year,” said Vanessa Kritzer, LCV Online Campaigns Manger. 

"After a year of record floods, record storms, and record temperatures that affected the lives of millions nationwide, the American people deserve record coverage of the climate disruption fueling this extreme weather – but we’re not getting it. Now, tens of thousands have stood up to demand more accurate, thorough, and frequent coverage of the climate crisis and the solutions it so immediately demands,” said Maggie Kao, Sierra Club National Press Secretary.

"The need for better coverage of climate change on the broadcast networks has only grown more pronounced since we launched our petition. Just this week, scientists announced that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million, its highest level in human history. Unfortunately, ABC World News and NBC Nightly News ignored the story," said Emilee Pierce, Media Matters Climate & Energy Program Director.

A Media Matters for America study released in January found that the major networks are not connecting the dots between climate change and the extreme weather that is causing hardships for families across the country. Last year, ABC, NBC and CBS featured just 12 segments combined on the climate crisis during their evening newscasts—ABC World News did only one segment highlighting climate change, NBC Nightly News did just four and CBS Evening News devoted just seven segments to this critical issue. 

Media Matters for America released a separate study last week showing that ABC, NBC and CBS, along with CNN, are still providing the same old climate change coverage so far this year, largely ignoring the connection between the extreme flooding in the Midwest and climate change. The study found that ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN dedicated 74 segments to the flooding, but only one—on CBS Evening News—alluded to the fact that heavy rains have increased as a result of climate change and none featured a scientist to comment about this trend. 

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