Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Media and Reporting on the Environment

Here is a good piece by David Mastio about The Media and Reporting on the Environment.

Selected excerpts:

"Next time you read a magazine cover story like the one Time just published ("Be Worried. Be VERY Worried. Polar Ice Caps Are Melting ... More And More Land Is Being Devastated ... Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities... The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame") you should remember one little fact: U.S. media companies, including Time Warner, donate more to the environmental movement than any other industry. Companies like The New York Times, Gannett, Tribune, ABC, CBS and NBC have donated more than a half-billion worth of ad space since the 1990s to raise money for some of the nation's most extreme environmental groups. And yes, that was billion with a B."

"Well, for some reason, no. The Ad Council has given us exactly the opposite: Their messenger is Environmental Defense (formerly known as the Environmental Defense Fund), a group with a reputation for crying wolf. Right now on their web page, ED asks parents to click to find out whether their children are in "danger" from dirty air. Nowhere can parents find the more comforting fact that, no matter where they live, kids today are breathing cleaner air than they did 50 years ago."

"It may be true that every single one of the environmental concerns raised to block hydro-power, wind energy, nuclear plants and natural gas development are all valid. But if global warming is really, really the "most serious environmental issue of our time," shouldn't environmentalists be willing to put their other concerns aside until we deal with the dangers of runaway climate change?

Maybe if our largest television networks, newspapers and magazines weren't the largest fundraisers for these same environmental groups, they'd be in a position to ask."

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