Al Jazeera America Kills It on Climate Change Coverage

A new bar has been set for cable news network coverage of global warming—and it’s much, much higher.

That's one day of AJA coverage vs. four months of CNN and Fox primetime. (Illustration: Media Matters)

Aug 23, 2013· 0 MIN READ
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

Those oil-funded journalists at Al Jazeera America gave a pretty emphatic answer to how the network would deal with climate change—a topic that inevitably cuts against the source of their paychecks.

Media Matters compared the amount of time AJA spent covering the topic on its first day of broadcast to coverage on other major news networks and found that, well, they aren’t exactly loyal subjects of Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the former ruler of Qatar who founded the network with state (read: oil) funds in 1996. Here’s the stunning analysis from Max Greenberg:

Al Jazeera America's 30 minutes of climate coverage (about 24 minutes not including commercial breaks) represented nearly half of what was seen on all network nightly news programs in 2012, and more than what was featured by CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront and Anderson Cooper 360 and Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity combined in the past four and a half months.

A news network with Arab roots is a tough pill to swallow for some Americans—a sentiment exemplified by the welcoming Twitter’s right wing gave to the network on its first night. But if there’s something about AJA that inherently cuts against the grain of U.S. news culture, as Media Matters’ reporting seems to suggest, then we can’t help but agree with the sentiment of a headline that ran on the Financial Times yesterday: “Al Jazeera: a good kind of un-American.”