Media News

The problem with misleading readers about climate change

October 28, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Emily Atkin of Heated takes news site Semafor to task for having Chevron sponsor its energy newsletter.

Atkin writes, “If I sound pissed today, it’s because I am. I am so tired of our nation’s most powerful and reputable media outlets refusing to engage with legitimate journalistic questions about the harmful impact of their fossil fuel advertising, both on their readers and on their own reputation.

“And make no mistake: they refuse to engage. This newsletter has called out numerous news outlets for running fossil fuel company ads that mislead readers about climate change. Each time we call out a news outlet, we ask them to explain: why don’t you consider these ads to be misleading? Why do you think these ads don’t constitute misinformation?

“We never, ever, get an answer. All we get is silence or defensiveness. When we asked Axios and POLITICO to defend their misleading fossil fuel ads, for example, each responded by vehemently defending the quality and independence of their climate reporting. It’s an incredibly disingenuous response, and frankly an insult to the reason we ask the question. Never once has this newsletter implied that any publication’s climate reporting was affected by the misleading fossil fuel ads. We just don’t want to see your readers misled. Why don’t you?”

Read more here.

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