Why I’m climate striking against Fox News on Friday

(The Guardian, 26 Jun 2019) The news media is society’s alarm clock – it needs to wake us up.

This past Saturday, I was among hundreds of activists with the group Extinction Rebellion NYC who protested outside the New York Times headquarters in midtown Manhattan to demand better coverage of the climate crisis. Protesters lay down on Eighth Avenue, staging a “die-in” to block traffic. We draped a banner the length of the Times building that declared, “Climate Emergency = Mass Murder”. Sixty-seven of us got arrested.

Somewhat to our surprise, our protest received a good deal of news coverage. CBS, CNN, the Guardian, and the Associated Press ran stories. The Times even published one, a Reuters dispatch that quoted a Times spokesperson defending the newspaper’s coverage. “There is no national news organization that devotes more time, staff or resources to producing deeply reported coverage to help readers understand climate change than the New York Times,” the spokesperson said.

But is even the New York Times truly conveying the climate emergency now facing humanity? And what about the many other news outlets that don’t do a fraction of the climate reporting the Times does? The media as a whole lets us down every day by either treating the climate crisis as a non-story or, worse, by propagating misinformation designed to confuse people and thwart action. Recently I learned that ABC’s World News Tonight devoted more broadcast time to the new royal baby in a week than it spent on climate change during the entire year of 2018, according to data analyzed by the watchdog group Media Matters. ABC, CBS, and NBC did not mention the words “climate change” or “global warming” once during the combined 28 news stories they ran about catastrophic flooding in the midwestern United States in March.

Which is why I and countless other young people around the world will be climate-striking against the news media this coming Friday – protesting outside TV, radio, newspaper and other news outlets to demand that they start covering climate crisis like the emergency that it is.

External link

The Guardian, 26 Jun 2019: Why I’m climate striking against Fox News on Friday