CHARTS: TV News Mentioned Donald Trump Nearly 20 Times More Than Fracking in 2011


A paltry 1.2 percent of headlines in prominent media outlets focus on environment. That’s the depressing finding from a study out today that surveyed headlines from 43 news and related organizations between January 2011 and May of 2012. Interestingly, Fox News devoted significantly more time to covering the environment, including healthy doses of climate change-denial, than did MSNBC and CNN:

 

A caveat: “Fox News is often criticized for having a blatant anti-environment bias,” the study notes, adding that “quantity is not a proxy for quality of coverage on this issue.” (The study used very similar methodology to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, and didn’t discriminate between biased and unbiased or misleading environmental news.)

What did most news outlets focus on? Crime and celebrities, mostly:

Headlines by media type

Notably, local newspapers were the only category of outlet that spent more time covering the environment than entertainment. On major newscasts (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox), LeBron James and other entertainment figures got far more mentions than most environmental issues. Even Donald Trump, arguably the topic America is most sick of hearing about, snagged almost 20 times as many headlines as fracking:

Among online news outlets, Huffington Post had the highest overall percentage of stories about the environment—about 3 percent in all. (Mother Jones was not included in the study sample.)

Percentage of online news sources

The findings are especially frustrating when you consider the recent finding that nearly 80 percent of Americans would like to see more coverage of environmental issues.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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