Rupert Murdoch is one of the most influential people in global media today, owning News Corp which has control over numerous international media organisations. One of which is 21st Century Fox, who run a conservative news show called Fox News. Last year Rupert Murdoch released a statement regarding the repeal of Australian Carbon Tax, claiming that he believes only 1/3 of global warming can be attributed to manmade greenhouse gas emissions and the worst case of climate change will be a 3 degree Celsius rise in the earth’s temperatures. (Roston, 2014)
A 2011 study found that in 2008, 71% of Americans believed global warming was a prominent issue. That number dropped dramatically in 2009 to 57%. (Feldman, Leiserowitz, Mabach, Roser-Renouf, 2011)
Similarly a national survey in 2013 in America found there was a correlation between an individual’s consumption of conservative media and a lack of trusts in scientists. Therefore as a result individuals were found less likely to believe that climate change was happening, or that it is a manmade phenomenon. The study saw that Democrats were more likely to believe in climate change and accept it was caused by humans than Republicans, and this was attributed to the different exposure in media outlets. (Feldman, Hmielowski, Leiserowitz, Maibach, Myers, 2013)
The 2013 study proposes that this organised denial of climate change is part of a conservative movement which aims to undermine the authenticity of environmental problems as conservatives believe combating climate change is a threat to free market capitalism. They claim that the conservatives use a ‘conservative think tank’ which write reports providing false information, and then ‘conservative media’ then spread these reports as legitimate to the public, generating the distrust of scientists and their findings on climate change purely though exposure.
Fox News emphasise that climate change is actually a ‘debate’ instead of a real phenomenon. Also they continually undermine climate change scientists by giving Skeptics a platform to voice these incorrect ‘studies’ from the conservative think tank.
When compared to the reporting on non-conservative media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC the study found viewers of these programs were likely to believe that climate change is real and humans attributed greatly to its impact. Due to CNN giving more air time to climate change scientists ignoring views from the Skeptics. (Feldman, Hmielowski, Leiserowitz, Maibach, Myers, 2013)
The power Murdoch holds in the global media sphere has had a direct impact on how responders of conservative media and Fox News in particular, view the global issue of climate change as a myth, opposed to responders of non- conservative media.
Here is an interesting video on the topic by Media Matters.
- Feldman L, Hmielowski J D, Leiserowitz A, Maibach E & Myers T A 2013, ‘An attack on Science? Media use, trust in scientists, and perceptions of global warming’ Public Understanding of Science no18. viewed 6/4/2015 <http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/about_us/meet_us/max_boykoff/readings/hmielowski_2013.pdf>
- Feldman L, Leiserowitz A, Maibach E W & Roser- Renouf C 2011, ‘Climate on Cable: The Nature and Impact of Global Warming Coverage on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC’ The International Journal of Press/ Politics no.29 viewed 7/4/2015 <http://www.climateshiftproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/FeldmanStudy.pdf>
- Roston E 2014 ‘ Scientists Take Issue With Rupert Murdoch’s Remarks on Climate Change’ Bloomberg Business viewed 7/4/2015 <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-07-16/scientists-take-issue-with-rupert-murdoch-s-remarks-on-climate-change>