A media watchdog group says analysis of the coverage of California’s lack of rain on the network evening newscasts in the last 18 months reveals a drought in balanced and accurate reporting.
According to the Media Research Center, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news featured 188 stories in the past year and a half about the California drought. MRC’s Julia Seymour recognizes that it is a big story, so she is not surprised by that statistic.
“But what we didn’t find in these stories and should have found were stories bringing up the problems that environmental regulations have actually caused or worsened the crisis by sending massive quantities of water out to sea through projects to divert water, like to save fish like the Delta Smelt,” she submits. “Those stories were missing, as well as any real indication that the government might have failed to do its job to prepare for changes in weather patterns.”
When the networks tried to address the causes for the drought, Seymour reports it was either the weather pattern impacting the jet stream or global warming/climate change.
“The weather comments were legitimate; the climate change ones, however, are definitely a stretch, because scientists are still debating this issue,” she explains. “Even The New York Times, one of those very alarmist reporters, admitted there is no definitive evidence that climate change is what’s causing California’s drought problems.”
Seymour concludes that the evening network newscasts have been unwilling to acknowledge the fuller picture of the drought.