Raising the Alarm: How Mainstream Media Fails to Cover Environmental News

This article sheds light on the critical role of independent environmental media in addressing the information gap surrounding climate change and other urgent environmental issues.

When the  Greenworlder team approached me with the opportunity to share my opinion in an article for this exciting new platform, I immediately knew what topic to choose. You could consider it a bit of an obsession as I’ve been hyper-focused on our urgent need to fight climate catastrophe for the past quarter century.

That’s how long I’ve been interviewing environmental leaders on all shades of green topics be they scientists, advocates, activists, authors, artists, green biz and tech experts, or the too few politicians who actually care about our planet’s future.

My particular preoccupation has long been with the dearth of mainstream media coverage on climate and other critically important environmental news, since we know how impactful media support can be for life and death emergencies like Covid.  It is no longer an exaggeration to say that if ignored by society, the worsening interrelated climate, ocean, biodiversity, etc. crises threaten to bring an end to this human experiment. It has become increasingly evident that we must protect and preserve our life support system or face an increasingly dangerous and precarious future.

It is mind-boggling to me, and others, that twenty-five years into creating self-funded independent green media programs, there is still almost no support for this key missing piece of the puzzle. If we fail to educate, engage, inform and inspire the masses to act with greater stewardship and urgency, we cannot succeed in meeting emissions reductions deadlines rapidly approaching. With just a little over six years remaining until the date scientists agree we must decrease greenhouse gas emissions by half, we cannot achieve this goal without mobilizing millions of Americans and global citizens in the fight for our lives, and for our children's futures.

I’d bet my life on it ––because I already have.

As host and producer of several environmentally focused radio shows, including the first to air daily, I have reported on the billions of dollars that have been invested in clean tech, as well as the millions now being granted to organizations addressing environmental injustice. These are both crucial areas of importance but a key overlooked area of focus remains, begging the question: who is supporting independent media channels working to address the “green gap” in news stemming from corporate media’s slow and anemic coverage of the climate crisis?

Admittedly the situation has noticeably improved over the last few years but the coverage is still only the tip of a melting iceberg, and that is true especially of television news.  Although the major networks have gotten over their aversion to mentioning climate change -- it's pretty hard to ignore the green elephant in the room—none of them have offered the very content that could actually reduce the threat; solutions-based programming aimed at the general public, still largely unaware of these existential topics!

With only about 3% of philanthropic dollars going to support environmental issues, and only a tiny fraction of that percentage funding environmental education in adults —who did not learn about ecology in school— is it any wonder our collective Eco-IQ is so low? Can we really be shocked that millions of Americans are still voting for politicians who don’t acknowledge the science at the heart of climate change?

As someone who has been in the forefront of creating environmental news and views programming for radio audiences, I have acquired a wealth of knowledge from interviewing hundreds of experts with much needed wisdom to share. The real shame is that I had to leave network news in order to cover the green beat. That was the bleak reality 20 years ago when I decided to quit covering breaking news to focus exclusively on our broken planet. The fact that this is still the case in 2023 is a tragedy; personally, professionally and most importantly, planetarily.

In any other specialty area deep experience would be a valuable asset, why should eco-expertise not hold the same appeal to programmers? The answer is there is a green bias. The irony is that unlike the focus for sports, business, or tech journalists, news about our warming world has life and death consequences.

What is even more ironic – or moronic—is that ignoring, marginalizing or in the case of right-wing media outlets, lying about climate science has long term irreversible consequences for humanity! This is what I often say about our society’s environ-mental illness.

Our response to this insanity is GreenTV.com, the online media platform I co-founded to tell the truth, connect the dots and focus on solutions. Our small team of eco-savvy volunteers opted to be a public benefit corporation rather than a non-profit because we knew it’d be an uphill battle to get funding. However, as a scrappy startup, we’re forced to pitch venture capitalists who traditionally do not invest in independent media, or much media at all. So as we seek funding to grow into a 24/7 streaming green media channel we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place… as our planet burns. To add insult to injury, millions are being invested in commercially popular media including movies with fake dramas, silly plots and filled with gratuitous violence. Americans are being distracted to death.

The team at GreenTV is pleased to welcome Greenworlder into the media mix of platforms aiming to leave a positive mark on the world. Let's hope the next 25 years are much more sustainable, on all fronts, and that more information outlets join us in this fight of—and for--our lives.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=....j5v8D-alAKE&t=55 "news" works the same way; they want to sell things, sometimes i listen the radio news and often it seems more like a commercial.

41w Reply
Back to top