Many major media outlets in Australia are skeptical of climate change and climate science in the majority of their coverage of the topic. Coverage in mainstream media can be presented in a way that leaves the subject open for debate, but rarely does it present information showing the consensus of the vast majority of the scientific community. Few news sources have an official stance on climate change, but the majority doesn’t seem to make coverage of the topic a priority.
“Articles in Australia’s two biggest newspapers by circulation, News Corp’s Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, were more than 60% skeptical about anthropogenic climate change. In Australia’s largest circulation newspaper, the Herald Sun, 67% of the articles reporting climate science did not accept the scientific consensus.”
Government-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation provides content across all distribution media including radio, television, and online articles. Writer Michael Edwards recently published a piece titled “Humans driving climate change 170 times faster than natural forces, scientists calculate,” which supports anthropogenic causes of climate change. While this information can be found through ABC, the topic of climate change often falls behind other issues in prominence.
The Guardian, which has primarily online distribution, has published pieces strongly supporting the idea of human-caused climate change, and has devoted more coverage than most outlets to covering the topic. However, the audience tends to lean progressive and they are likely delivering information to people who already support the science of human caused climate change.
Journalist for the Guardian Paul Mason recently published a piece strongly condemning climate-denial of the right and commenting on increasing pressures on mainstream conservatives to limit commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Guardian is owned by British Media group Scott Trust Limited.
In October 2013, Professor Wendy Bacon produced a report on Climate Science in Australian newspapers. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The report found that there was very little prominent coverage of climate science in Australian media, although some of these questioned climate science. At the time of the report, The Sydney Morning Herald was the most likely to publish prominent climate science articles, all of which supported a consensus on climate science.
The Sydney Morning Herald is owned by Fairfax Media, one of the largest Australian media organizations. While it has traditionally been a conservative outlet, the Sydney Morning Herald has recently been supportive of environmental initiatives and climate science. Several recent stories feature coverage of the recent moves by the new U.S. administration such as the appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA. Coverage of plans to roll back environmental regulations in the U.S. and pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement leans towards being critical of these choices.