Australia was an exception to the downward trend in international media coverage of climate events during 2011. The debate over a carbon tax kept the issue in the news with the Australia Broadcasting Corp. publishing 60 percent more climate stories in 2011 than it did in 2010, while the Sydney Morning Herald saw a 21 percent jump. Yet according to analysis of DailyClimate.org’s archive of global media, coverage internationally of climate change continued to tumble in 2011, declining roughly 20 percent from 2010′s levels and nearly 42 percent from 2009′s peak.
Last year at least 7,140 journalists and opinion writers published some 19,000 stories on climate change, compared to more than 11,100 reporters who filed 32,400 stories in 2009, according to DailyClimate.org.
The decline was seen across almost all benchmarks measured by the news service: 20 percent fewer reporters covered the issue in 2011 than in 2010, 20 percent fewer outlets published stories, and the most prolific reporters on the climate change beat published 20 percent fewer stories.
Particularly noticeable was the silence from the nation’s editorial boards: In 2009, newspapers published 1,229 editorials on the topic. Last year, they published less than 580 – half as many, according to DailyClimate.org’s archives.
DailyClimate.org is a foundation-funded news service that covers climate change. The website’s data extend reliably to mid-2007. The nonprofit news service offers a daily aggregation of global “mainstream” from center-left to center-right. The aggregation is meant to provide a broad sampling of the day’s coverage, not a comprehensive list.
The Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado, which has tracked media coverage of climate change since 2000, finds a similar slide in five major U.S. newspapers during 2011.
While Daily Climate cautions that by-line counts are an imprecise – and flawed – way to measure a journalist’s productivity, it is interesting how the Sydney Morning Herald features so prominently on 2011’s most prolific list.
|Andrew Revkin||–||New York Times||–||118|
|Matthew L. Wald||–||New York Times||–||96|
|Bryan Walsh||–||Time Magazine||–||84|
|Lenore Taylor||–||Sydney Morning Herald||–||79|
|Ariel Schwartz||–||Fast Company||–||76|
|Mike De Souza||–||Postmedia News||–||68|
|Louise Gray||–||London Daily Telegraph||–||63|
|John M. Broder||–||New York Times||–||59|
|Juliet Eilperin||–||Washington Post||–||59|
|Adam Morton||–||Sydney Morning Herald||–||58|
|Maria Gallucci||–||Inside Climate News||–||56|
|Thomas Content||–||Milwaukee Journal Sentinel||–||54|
|David Biello||–||Scientific American||–||52|
|Bruce Gellerman||–||Living on Earth||–||47|
|Evan Lehmann||–||E&E News||–||46|
|Ben Cubby||–||Sydney Morning Herald||–||44|
|Andrew Restuccia||–||Washington Hill||–||44|
|Ben Geman||–||Washington Hill||–||42|
|Justin Gillis||–||New York Times||–||40|
|Elizabeth McGowan||–||Inside Climate News||–||40|
|Lauren Morello||–||E&E News||–||40|
|Felicity Barringer||–||New York Times||–||38|
|David R. Baker||–||San Francisco Chronicle||–||36|
|Pilita Clark||–||Financial Times||–||34|
|John Collins Rudolf||–||New York Times||–||34|
|Michael Marshall||–||New Scientist||–||34|
|Arthur Max||–||Associated Press||–||34|
|Marlowe Hood||–||Agence France Press||–||33|
|Neela Banerjee||–||Los Angeles Times||–||32|
|Tiffany Hsu||–||Los Angeles Times||–||32|
|Phillip Coorey||–||Sydney Morning Herald||–||31|
|Saqib Rahim||–||E&E News||–||31|
|Tom Arup||–||Sydney Morning Herald||–||30|
|Jean Chemnick||–||E&E News||–||30|
|Lisa Friedman||–||E&E News||–||30|
|Margot Roosevelt||–||Los Angeles Times||–||30|