Viewers Want more Climate Reporting

October 6, 2020

Abel Gustafson PhD on Twitter:

Just published: Our new report showing climate change opinions in the audiences of Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and others.

https://bit.ly/3lly1ZU

Overall, news audiences want more climate coverage, and Fox News viewers are notably divided.
Other important findings:

Let’s start with the basics. In all 6 news audiences we studied (incl. Fox), majorities think global warming is happening. About 45% of the Fox News audience are “worried” about global warming. Far more are worried in the other 5 news audiences.

Seems encouraging! However…

Across all news audiences, majorities *UNDERestimate* the scientific consensus on climate change. Many just “don’t know.” This points to a need for better communication of the strength of the scientific consensus.

And that might be exactly what the people want, because…

Get this: Majorities in the audiences of CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and the nightly news all think *the media should be doing more* to address climate change. Like @KHayhoe says, one of the most important things to do is just to *talk about it.*

Perhaps this is because fewer than 20% in any news audience feels “very well informed” about climate change.

We also find majorities in all 6 news audiences are interested in news stories about a wide range of climate change topics.

This puts the ball in the court of journalists. These news audiences want more climate coverage, and many think the media should be doing more about it.

One Response to “Viewers Want more Climate Reporting”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Get this: Majorities in the audiences of CNN, NPR, MSNBC, and the nightly news all think *the media should be doing more* to address climate change.

    I’m getting my wet blanket out again.

    It’s as easy to find people who say they want more serious, responsible, adult content as it is to find people who think they should read more books, eat better and exercise more. The vote on what gets put on mainstream (non-Fox) news shows is from the advertisers. I believe that if they did give more coverage people would complain about boring technical information about a depressing topic, and few advertisers would find them an attractive audience.

    (I guess knowing the number of people who still support Trump has kept my opinion of the average American TV viewer very low.)

    Sincerely,

    Eeyore


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