Study Finds 'Glaring' Disparity In Coverage Of Amazon Rainforest Fire

The fires raging in the Amazon rainforest have generated less than 7% of the U.S. cable news coverage of the fire that damaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France, in April, according to an analysis conducted by news media watchdog Media Matters.

"The disparity in coverage is glaring and raises serious questions about cable news priorities when it comes to covering our environment," Media Matters Director of Media Intelligence Lis Power writes in the report, noting that the combined U.S. cable news coverage of the Amazon fires "peaked at 11 segments that mention the fires per day" compared with "around 150 segments a day that mentioned the cathedral fire during the peak of Notre Dame coverage."

Power added that much of the Amazon fire coverage also came "via short headline reads or passing mentions rather than thorough, in-depth analysis about the events and global consequences."



3 comments about "Study Finds 'Glaring' Disparity In Coverage Of Amazon Rainforest Fire".
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  1. Tim Brooks from consultant, August 27, 2019 at 9:58 a.m.

    Well, the fact that there was live and dramatic video of the Notre Dame fire as it spread probably had something to do with this. Nothing remotely like that in the Amazon. Attributing the difference entirely to "environmental news priorities" is rather simplistic. While that may be part of the story, this reads like a press release from an advocacy group.

  2. Joanna Gleason from Gleason Media & Marketing replied, August 27, 2019 at 10:22 a.m.

    Agreed. A single fire burning a famous spectacular cathedral filled with history and relics and a huge tourist attraction in the heart of Paris. Of course it got more coverage. We have all heard and are very aware of the Amazon fires. The media has in fact done its job there. But there are thousands of fires spread across thousands of square miles, most of them in a remote area of a country where we don't have that many news teams to cover it. Even Macron posted a photo of an old Amazon forest fire and got called out for it.

  3. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, August 27, 2019 at 10:32 a.m.

    @Tim.Brooks: I don't know, this is pretty dramatic to me.

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