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Goldenberg writes: "The sharp decline in coverage since 2011, recorded by the Media Matters for America advocacy group, reinforces charges from a former staffer that Reuters cut back on climate stories under the influence of Paul Ingrassia, who is now the agency's managing editor."

Reuters climate coverage is now controlled by a skeptic. (photo: Guardian UK)
Reuters climate coverage is now controlled by a skeptic. (photo: Guardian UK)


Reuters' Climate-Change Coverage 'Fell by Nearly 50% With Sceptic As Editor'

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian UK

27 July 13

 

Media Matters for America study follows blog by former agency reporter about appointment of Paul Ingrassia.

euters' climate-change coverage fell by nearly 50% after a climate sceptic joined the news agency as a senior editor, a study has found.

The sharp decline in coverage since 2011, recorded by the Media Matters for America advocacy group, reinforces charges from a former staffer that Reuters cut back on climate stories under the influence of Paul Ingrassia, who is now the agency's managing editor.

Media Matters found a 48% decline in climate-change coverage over a six-month period, after Ingrassia joined the agency in 2011.

The New York Times and other news organisations have cut back on climate coverage, closing down blogs and redeploying correspondents, at times citing financial constraints. However, Bloomberg, Reuters' main competitor, has deepened its investment in climate change and sustainability coverage. The agency's founder, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been a strong advocate for action on climate change.

Charges of an ideological component to Reuters' declining coverage - related to Ingrassia's personal doubts about established climate science - have sharpened concern in media and environmental as well as business circles, because of the agency's focus on financial news.

"It is just not responsible in our opinion to be cutting back on an issue that is having such a profound impact on every sector of the economy," said Mindy Lubber, who heads the Ceres sustainable business network, which represents companies and investors controlling some $11tn in assets. "This is a financial risk that needs to be looked at and addressed."

The Climate Progress blog has since criticised Reuters for injecting references in stories to fringe groups that reject established climate science, and represent barely 3% of scientists publishing on climate change.

The news agency did not respond specifically to the findings of a deep cut in climate-change coverage. But in an emailed statement, a spokesperson wrote:

"Reuters covers climate change closely both as a scientific and public-safety issue, as well as the impact of climate change on businesses, the economy and the markets. We have a dedicated staff, including a team of specialist reporters at Point Carbon and a columnist, who all generate significant coverage on the topic across our various platforms. We remain committed to providing fair and independent coverage of climate change that complies fully with our Trust Principles."

The scrutiny of Reuters' climate-change coverage began earlier this month when David Fogarty, the former Asia Climate Change Correspondent , wrote in a blog post that climate-change coverage had been dramatically cut back after Ingrassia's hire. Fogarty, a 20-year veteran at Reuters, covered climate change for four and a half years. But early last year it became increasingly difficult to get climate-change stories published. Editors suggested he pursue other stories. Then Fogarty described a conversation with Ingrassia, then deputy editor, at a social event.

"In April last year, Paul Ingrassia [then deputy editor-in-chief] and I met and had a chat at a company function. He told me he was a climate-change sceptic. Not a rabid sceptic, just someone who wanted to see more evidence mankind was changing the global climate.

"Progressively, getting any climate change-themed story published got harder. It was a lottery. Some desk editors happily subbed and pushed the button. Others agonised and asked a million questions. Debate on some story ideas generated endless bureaucracy by editors frightened to take a decision, reflecting a different type of climate within Reuters - the climate of fear.

"By mid-October, I was informed that climate change just wasn't a big story for the present, but that it would be if there was a significant shift in global policy, such as the US introducing an emissions cap-and-trade system. Very soon after that conversation I was told my climate change role was abolished."

Fogarty left the agency soon after.

 

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+2 # universlman 2013-07-27 18:21
Just like major law firms, media outlets employ many alluring "experts" to assert specific positions on major topics as if each news story is a court case requiring some sort of a win.

I am sure that they base this behavior on much supporting research. The news agencies must believe that they need three experts to help the impressionable public "interpret" all of the possibilities within every news story. Once started, it must be impossible for them to refrain from deliberately manipulating the news to match their committed editorial/polit ical narrative. This is, aside from ethics, and after years of decline in market share, and while watching Fox News enjoy unstoppable success with this approach.
 
 
-10 # MidwesTom 2013-07-27 20:15
The Economist magazine, long a supporter of global warming, has now become a skeptic. Mainly because as time passes, literally none of the predicted changes have occurred with the predicted magnitude, by the date previously projected. Record ice at the south pole, as reported by NOAA, gets no press.
 
 
+2 # Anarchist 23 2013-07-28 09:50
Wow MidwesTom; you must be living in a different universe! Have you missed the high temperatures boiling the East Coast, the Mid West, the South West this year? Or the giant droughts? Or the big storms, one of the predictions made about Global Warming? How is it down there with your head in the sand? Glad I don't have children! 'The Hunger Games' would most likely be their future, and compared to what is coming, a more benign future at that!
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2013-07-28 09:55
Quoting MidwesTom:
The Economist magazine, long a supporter of global warming, has now become a skeptic. Mainly because as time passes, literally none of the predicted changes have occurred with the predicted magnitude, by the date previously projected. Record ice at the south pole, as reported by NOAA, gets no press.

As I've posted here before, record ice at the South Pole IS A FURTHER INDICATOR of global climate change and warming, especially over the Northern Hemisphere. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2216238/Now-theres-ice-South-Pole-So-global-warming-thawing-Antarctica.html
And it DOES get press elsewhere in the more informed nations -in spite of all the fuckin' hoopla over the "Royal Sprog" and other such nonsense.
The polar bears and other beleaguered species don't know all this of course and I've even heard some joyous speculation of "Finally a "Northwest Passage" from oil companies and remaining whaling invaders if the seas, so they can further capitalize on the already-apparen t human-instigate d and denial-accelera ted folly.
"When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money".
Cree prophecy.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2013-07-29 08:47
Quoting MidwesTom:
The Economist magazine, long a supporter of global warming, has now become a skeptic. Mainly because as time passes, literally none of the predicted changes have occurred with the predicted magnitude, by the date previously projected. Record ice at the south pole, as reported by NOAA, gets no press.


Why don't you mention that the Economist article that makes heavy use of a single Norwegian study that has yet to be published and that no reputable physicists even agree on the article's central hypothesis?

And, why don't you mention or post credible responses to The Economist Article? For example:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/12/1858631/sense-and-sensitivity-how-the-economist-got-it-wrong-on-warming/

http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/ocean-holds-answer-reduced-warming-130411.htm

http://coraifeartaigh.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/climate-change-the-irish-times-and-the-economist/
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2013-07-29 09:40
Quoting MidwesTom:
Record ice at the south pole, as reported by NOAA, gets no press.


Perhaps it gets no press because the NOAA article referring to this also states:

"...climate is warming over much of the Antarctic continent, as shown in several recent studies (e.g., Chapman and Walsh, 2007, Monaghan et al., 2008, Steig et al., 2009) and is related to Pacific Ocean warming (Ding et al., 2010) and circumpolar winds. Both warming and ozone loss act to strengthen the circumpolar winds in the south. This is due primarily to persistently cold conditions prevailing on Antarctica year-round, and a cold stratosphere above Antarctica due to the ozone hole. Stronger winds generally act to blow the sea ice outward, slightly increasing the extent, except in the Antarctic Peninsula region, where due to geography, winds from the north have also increased, pushing the ice southward. Thus, sea ice extent near the northwestern Antarctic Peninsula continues to decline rapidly, while areas in the Ross Sea and the southern Indian Ocean show significant increases (Stammerjohn et al., 2012).

http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2012/10/poles-apart-a-record-breaking-summer-and-winter/
 
 
-2 # cordleycoit 2013-07-27 21:26
Why do you interrupt the comments as you just did at eleven fifteen MST. There is correlation between this story and the lack of leadership on the environment and of course our presidents endless banker forgiveness program.
 
 
+1 # egbegb 2013-07-27 22:02
Sounds like the climate is a political issue. Some media like it, some don't.
 
 
+9 # brianf 2013-07-28 08:17
The climate is not a political issue. The climate is an aspect of the physical world. We live in it. Our actions affect it, and it affects us even more strongly.

Climate science is not a political issue either. But the facts that climate scientists have discovered, if not ignored, would compel us to quickly transform our energy and transportation systems. This would negatively affect some of the wealthiest and most powerful corporations and people in the world. They have been waging an all-out war on science and have been winning so far.

Many conservatives can't accept the reality of what is happening, because the only solutions that would solve the problem in time are what they hate the most: regulations and taxes. These are the people who have tried to turn a field of science into a political issue. Conservative editors have been actively censoring the most important topic of our time.

The political issue is how we confront the reality of global warming and climate change. So far our politicians (especially those in Congress) have failed miserably in dealing with it. This is largely because so many of them are controlled by the fossil fuel companies whose profits will fall with any effective solution.
 
 
0 # X Dane 2013-07-28 14:20
brianf.
That is the problem. Oil companies and politicians in their pockets, as well as media are making it political.

And people who are not paying attention only hear negative input. Others able to see what is happening to the planet are drowned out by all the negative voices.

I hope some of the responsible media,.... if there i any left....will sound out the alarm before it is too late.
 
 
+7 # Kootenay Coyote 2013-07-28 06:11
Real sceptics challenge their own opinions as well as those of others; Ingrassia appears to be just another corporate toady.
 
 
+4 # Citizen Mike 2013-07-28 06:14
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH!
 
 
+1 # tomo 2013-07-28 13:59
As the evidence of climate change becomes more obtrusive (droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, melting glaciers, rising sea level), the popular suppression of news becomes more desparate, and the people in charge of it must needs be the mediocre residue who are left when all genuinely curious reporters have abandoned the mainstream media. One wonders, though, what Ingrassia is willing to see his reporters report on when the indicators of climate change seem to seep through the fabric of so many current events.
 

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