Don’t Ignore Climate Change in News Reports


Target: CNN President Jeff Zucker

Goal: Give climate change the media attention that this hugely important issue deserves

Climate change may be the most pressing issue the modern world has faced in a long time, and a well-informed public is instrumental in combating its effects. Unfortunately, not all news organizations are giving climate change the attention it deserves. CNN, a major cable news group, is becoming infamous for the lack of attention it pays to climate change news. According to Media Matters for America, the news channel failed to cover news of the melting of a major Antarctic ice sheet and barely mentioned a report that climate change could drastically raise world hunger. The president of CNN, Jeff Zucker, said several months ago that “[w]e haven’t figured out how to engage the audience in that story [of climate change] in a meaningful way,” according to Capitol New York.

As a news organization, CNN’s first duty should always be to the truth, and the truth of climate change and its harmful effects is not disputed by science. And while it may seem that there’s not much that can be done about an uninterested viewer base, Think Progress suggests that CNN change the way it presents stories about climate change. Currently, the organization subscribes to a model featuring two people on opposite sides of the issue; a person who accepts climate change  and a climate change skeptic. Such debates conceal the fact that 97% of climate scientists accept climate change to be a fact, according to Mother Jones. By obscuring the issue, CNN is hardly making it easy for its audience to engage the story in a meaningful way.

There is no reason for CNN not to cover climate change in its reporting. It is a news organization, and should as such report important and urgent developments in the world. By signing this petition, you will call on President Zucker to revamp his organization’s policy towards climate change coverage.


Dear President Zucker,

In recent times CNN has come under fire for not covering important developments related to climate change. You yourself have commented that viewers have had difficulty engaging with the story. While there is only so much you can do to affect your viewership, as a news organization CNN has a responsibility to inform those who turn to it to learn about the world. Climate change is an important and pressing issue and deserves good coverage.

One way to allow for better audience engagement with the story of climate change is to change the format of your reporting. Climate change is settled science, and there is no need to confuse the issue by constantly setting up debates between scientists and skeptics. A clearer picture f the situation could do much to help your viewers get a grasp of climate change. I urge you to cover these stories more thoroughly.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Chris Green via Wikipedia

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213 Signatures

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