Claim: “None of the fifty-five Murdoch publications studied … were ‘good’ on climate change”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Award winning journalist Wendy Bacon is intensely disappointed that not even The Guardian seems interested in her efforts to root out climate heresy.

Data proves decades of lies in Murdoch media climate change coverage

By Mia Armitage
March 17, 2021 

Mia Armitage & Sean O’Shannessy

When the proof is in the pudding and the spice is climate change, it can leave a bitter taste: after all, it’s no surprise to learn data shows Murdoch media bias.

Acclaimed Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist Wendy Bacon has delivered the goods, having released similar yet smaller in scope studies since the turn of the millennium.

For her latest opus, she led a team of more than twenty trained volunteers in a mission tracing through decades of Murdoch media headlines, opinion pieces, columns, news articles and letters from across Australia.

The results show for more than the past two decades, 45 per cent of Murdoch media climate coverage and references have been at least sceptical or at worst outright denial of the phenomenon happening all around us.

Wendy Bacon said none of the fifty-five Murdoch publications studied at one point were ‘good’ on climate change coverage but the worst was The Daily Telegraph, traditionally Sydney-focussed.

The significance of her findings had been undermined, Ms Bacon said, by mainstream media coverage.

‘It’s almost greeted with silence, not a word on the ABC about it,’ she said, ‘not even the Guardian, and that was disappointing’.

Read more: https://www.echo.net.au/2021/03/data-proves-decades-of-lies-in-murdoch-media-climate-change-coverage/

Wendy’s research is available here. From her research paper;

  • The total of relevant items was 8,612. (Section 4.1).
  • Nearly half of all items (44%) were in The Australian. (Section 4.1).
  • Information-based reportage (news and features) was 38% (Section 4.2). Nearly two-thirds (62%) of the coverage was commentary (editorials, opinion, and letters). The strong influence of commentary on the overall message about climate change is evident, both in volume, and in seeding and shaping ideas and analysis.
  • All of the four News Corp publications produce substantial amounts of material that is sceptical about the findings of climate science. Overall, 45% of all items either rejected or cast doubt upon consensus scientific findings. (Section 4.5).
  • The Daily Telegraph is the most sceptical of the News Corp publications, with 58% of content discussing climate change being sceptical (Section 4.5).
  • Most News Corp reporters do not actively promote sceptical views. Reportage (news and features) was less sceptical than commentary (editorials, opinions, and letters), with 89% of reportage accepting climate science findings. (Section 4.5).
  • Commentary items (editorials, opinions, and letters) drove scepticism in all News Corp publications. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of opinion pieces were sceptical towards climate science (Section 4.5).
  • Out of a total of 2,309 opinion articles, the top ten opinion writers accounted for 44% of content. All of these opinion writers are either climate change sceptics, promote scepticism in their articles, or are negative towards climate action/efforts. The top five were Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair, Peta Credlin, Peter Gleeson, and Chris Kenny, all of whom are occasional or regular Sky News presenters. (Section 5).

The Guardian might have failed so far to properly publicise this effort to root out climate heresy, but never let it be said that WUWT ignores research of Wendy Bacon’s calibre.

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March 18, 2021 at 08:03AM

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