Sky News starting first daily climate news show, but still platforms plenty of climate deniers
Starting on April 7th, there will be a daily prime time news program about climate change on Sky News. With extreme weather like floods being worsened by climate change, and denier politicians rerunning debunked old conspiracy theories in it’s former owner Rupert Murdoch’s native Australia, it’s not a moment too soon!
By Climate Denier Roundup
Because just like in the US where broadcast TV news largely fails to cover climate change like it deserves (with some exceptions) and Fox News propped up by cable subscription fees because it’s so toxic with advertisers, things in Australia aren’t much better, according to Wendy Bacon and Arunn Jegan’s analysis of Rupert Murdoch’s Australian news outlets.
They examined four News Corp publications over the course of a year (starting April 2019) and found that the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail and Australian all “produce substantial amounts of material” in denial of climate science, with 45% of the news, features and opinion pieces published by those outlets either rejecting or doubting the consensus.
The opinion sections stand out as being responsible for a bulk of the denial, with two-thirds of them being skeptical, compared to 89% of the reporting being accurate.
And as usual, it’s just a handful of disinformation specialists that produce the bulk of the content, with 44% of the 2,309 opinion pieces coming from just the top ten opinion writers, all of whom are deniers.
Importantly for Sky News’s new television program, all of the top five, “Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair, Peta Credlin, Peter Gleeson and Chris Keeny… are occasional or regular Sky news presenters.”
Andrew Bolt alone produced 405 opinion pieces, 12% of the entire sample, and one-third of the Herald Sun’s climate content. Bolt also has a nightly show on Sky News, as does Chris Kenny, The Australian’s most-published climate denier. The same goes for Peta Credlin, former advisor to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and who was responsible for a respectable 4% of all the opinion pieces in the sample. And then denier columnist Peter Gleeson, responsible for 11% of Courier Mail’s opinion pieces, is also a Sky news host.
So it’s great to see Sky News decide to dedicate time every day to climate news. Having been sold off by Murdoch in late 2018, it’s still home to plenty of Murdoch’s brand of denial, as the fact that leading deniers are given such prominent platforms on the channel.
Maybe they could clear up some funds for more new climate reporters by firing some lying deniers?