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Lies, debates, and silences

New research released today reveals the massive scale of News Corp climate scepticism.

Funded by GetUp members, Lies, debates, and silences: How News Corp produces climate scepticism in Australia proves not only that News Corp is negative towards climate action, but they're actively creating debate and confusion while they politicise the issue.

The exhaustive study analysed 8,612 pieces of news, opinion, editorials and letters mentioning climate change across four News Corp publications – The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Courier Mail, and The Australian – between April 2019 and March 2020, covering the worst bushfire season on record and the massive School Strike 4 Climate protests.

It found that an astonishing 45% of all News Corp climate coverage expressed climate scepticism. Of the 55% of stories that accepted climate science, there was negligible reporting of climate change facts and impacts.

You can read the full report below, but here are some of the most shocking findings:

  • Coverage of existing or potential policies to combat climate change was overwhelmingly negative. Items discussing climate action policies were more than twice as likely to be negative (57%) than positive (27%)

  • Andrew Bolt, a prominent sceptic, accounted for 12% of all climate coverage (news, features, editorials, and opinion) in the Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph, and Courier Mail combined, with 405 opinion articles. In the Herald Sun alone, Bolt was responsible for 32% of all articles mentioning climate change

  • Politicians, fossil fuel companies and men were the vast majority of sources in articles about climate change. Only 6% of all sources across four News Corp publications were scientists of any kind, compared to 47% for political figures. News Corp is more than twice as likely to quote a politician than a scientist on climate change topics

  • News Corp silences and marginalises anyone that questions its narrative. News Corp's climate change coverage quotes predominantly male political voices and silences scientists, women, First Nations people and impacted communities. Just 0.2% of stories quoted First Nations sources. Only 4% of stories quoted civil society groups, compared to 18% for business sources. And just 24% of all sources across climate change stories were women.

Not loading on mobile? You can also read and download the full report here.

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