Demand More Climate Change Coverage from National News Programs

Target: Michael Corn, Executive Producer of ABC World News, Patricia Shevlin, Executive Producer of CBS Evening News, and Patrick Burkey, Executive Producer of NBC Nightly News

Goal:  Get news programs to provide more frequent, accurate coverage of climate change

ABC, CBS and NBC’s nightly news programs devoted only 12 segments to climate change throughout all of 2012, a year of extreme weather and record-breaking heat waves nationwide. News programs’ coverage of climate change has been insufficient and inadequate. In support of a campaign recently launched by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Sierra Club and Media Matters for America, this petition demands that ABC, NBC and CBS provide more climate change coverage during their newscasts and do a better job covering climate issues in 2013 than they did in 2012.

ABC World News had one segment about climate change last year, NBC Nightly News had four and CBS Evening News had just seven segments on this critical issue in 2012. After the devastating extreme weather events in 2012, such as wildfires, droughts, and storms like Hurricane Sandy, the public needs information on the changing climate. They will only get it if popular news programs report on climate change-related extreme weather and interview scientists who can explain the relationship between human activity, climate change, and the weather.

National broadcasters have the responsibility to report on important issues since they are so critical in influencing decision makers and the public. These networks must provide more reporting on climate change by discussing it during their extreme weather coverage and interviewing scientists on their programs.


Dear Mr. Corn, Ms. Shelvin, and Mr. Burkey,

National news networks play a critical role in informing the public of today’s most pressing issues. However, in 2012 ABC, CBS and NBC’s nightly news programs devoted only twelve segments on climate change throughout the entire year. Given the urgency of addressing the climate crisis, we urge you to give adequate coverage of climate change in 2013.

Confronting the climate crisis is the challenge of our generation and the American people are entitled to know how the changing climate is fueling the extreme weather we experienced last year and what can be done about it. Your programs must devote more coverage to climate change, report on future extreme weather in a climate context, and interview more climate scientists. We urge you to provide coverage that is consistent with the critical importance of dealing with this issue.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr

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