Bob Ward: Why Do Some British Newspapers Still Deny Climate Change?

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British newspapers should “put the interests of their readers first by reporting the real facts about global warming” argues Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

Yet so many papers continue to deny the science and are failing to accurately report on the risks of climate change Ward writes in the Guardian.

He points to the Mail, Express, Times, Sun and Telegraph titles which all “continue to use their opinion columns and leaders to try to cast doubt on the risks” of climate change.

A primary example of this is the regular opinion column written by climate denier and coal mine owner Matt Ridley in the Times.

But more than just misrepresenting the facts, Ward highlights how many of these papers are also “carrying out a cull of writers who choose not to reflect the uninformed prejudices of their editors and proprietors.”

For example, the environment editor of the Sun, Ben Jackson, left the newspaper last summer and was not replaced.

Also last summer the Daily Telegraph decided to make redundant Geoffrey Lean, one of Britain’s most experience environmental reporters. As Lean wrote on his blog: “In the British press… there [are], in my estimation, some 10 columnists who reject or underplay the dangers of global warming, with precious few columnar voices on the other side”.

However, Ward highlights the Daily Express as having the worst reputation for “mixing ideological propaganda and inaccurate journalism.”

When will editors of the Daily Express and other British newspapers abandon their daft crusade to promote climate change denial,” asks Ward, “and instead put the best interests of their readers first by reporting the real causes and potential consequences?”

Read Ward’s full article here at the Guardian.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

 
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Kyla is a freelance writer and editor with work appearing in the New York Times, National Geographic, HuffPost, Mother Jones, and Outside. She is also a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists.

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