Abdelnasser Rashid

Abdelnasser Rashid

Rashid scolds TV news orgs on climate change

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From staff reports

State Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid (D-21st) recently scolded major news organizations for what he called a lack of attention to climate change.

“Last year was marked by alarming climate extremes, from record-breaking heat waves to devastating floods, droughts and wildfires,” Rashid wrote earlier this month in a letter to his political supporters. “The scientific consensus is clear — climate change poses an existential threat to our planet, and urgent action is needed to mitigate its catastrophic effects.

“Despite the gravity of the situation, major broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX have failed to adequately cover this critical issue, reducing their already limited climate coverage by a staggering 25% compared to previous years,” he continued.

Rashid did not identify the source of his statistics.

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Abdelnasser Rashid

In 2023, he said, major news programs aired 102 minutes of climate coverage spread across 26 segments. “This amount is insufficient to convey the scale and complexity of the climate crisis to the public,” he added.

Rashid did not say how much news coverage he considers enough, and he did not say why news organizations are short-changing the public.

“By neglecting to provide comprehensive information on the causes, impacts and potential solutions to climate change, broadcast networks are doing a great disservice to their viewers and the planet as a whole,” he said. “Informing the public about the realities of climate change is essential for driving the necessary societal and political changes to address this existential threat. When news coverage is superficial, it fails to communicate the urgency of the situation and can lead to complacency or even skepticism among viewers.

“Consistent, in-depth reporting is crucial for fostering public understanding, engagement and support for climate action.

The climate crisis affects every aspect of our lives, from public health and food security to the economy. It is not a niche issue that can be relegated to occasional segments or special reports.”

The bottom line, Rashid concluded, “is that as influential shapers of public discourse, broadcast networks have a moral obligation to prioritize climate change coverage.”

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