, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 27-43

Media coverage of the greenhouse effect

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Abstract

Following brief reviews of (a) the decisive role of the media in American politics and (b) earlier studies of media partiality and superficiality, this paper examines media coverage of the greenhouse effect. It does so by comparing two pictures. The first picture emerges from reading all 100 greenhouse-related articles published over a five-month period (May–September 1997) inThe Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, andThe Washington Post. The second picture emerges from themainstream scientific literature. This comparison shows that media coverage of environmental issues suffers from both shallowness and pro-corporate bias. The biospheric implications of these two flaws are touched upon.