NYT Reporter Wants More Prominent Placement of Global Warming Coverage

March 14th, 2008 1:25 PM

Do you think the media have blown this whole global warming thing out of proportion by devoting so much attention to it? One New York Times reporter says it deserves a more prominent place in the media.

Andrew Revkin, the environmental reporter for the Times, spoke in Newark, Del., on March 12 for the University of Delaware's Global Agenda lecture series, "Boiling Point: International Politics of Climate Change." He said he thought this issue deserved more spotlight, but outlined why it didn't get it.

"On the climate issue, climate - science particularly - climate, in multitude doesn't get a lot of respect because science is laden with complexity," Revkin said. "Newsrooms crave ‘Spitzer, Prostitute.' That says it right there - where's the complexity? Or - stock scandal, or you know, $107 oil, or the Yankees traded somebody big."

"Those are the stories that are no-brainers," Revkin said, "and a story on climate or environmental laws or some treaty negotiation - those are much less covered and they don't get repeated and they don't obtain the sunlight on the front page as much." A Nexis newspaper database search revealed that in the last month, The New York Times has published 40 stories mentioning "climate change" and 72 stories mentioning "global warming."

Revkin wasn't as critical of the paper's reporting of the issue. However, he indicated their focus should be on "energy options."

"Well I think personally that we've done the best possible job we could do at the Times to be leaders in uncovering the reality that energy - because the energy options that exist are insignificant compared to the problem," Revkin said. "If we're serious about the problem, we'll do much more."