Not Newsworthy at The Journal: Climate Change Protests, Departure of Google and Facebook from ALEC

September 24th, 2014 · 1 Comment · energy policy, environment, journalism

By Arthur Alpert

Across the globe, demonstrators marched and chanted and some did civil disobedience to wake the rest of us to the ill effects of climate change. That was Sunday, Sept. 21.

The New York Times’ story the next day, prominently displayed, was headlined “Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets”.

The Times also featured another story, headlined “Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels”, which evolved into a survey of efforts in academia and foundations to combat climate change.

The Washington Post wrapped three stories – the Rockefeller family decision, global demonstrations and the upcoming UN summit on climate – into one big takeout headlined, “Big Oil’s heirs join call for action as climate summit opens”.

WaPo’s Sept. 21 story also dealt in part with American corporations’ efforts to combat climate change. Some big businesses are, it seems, very worried.

And back in New Mexico, the state’s largest daily published – can you guess?

Well, if you said the Albuquerque Journal ran no story Monday, Sept. 22, on the worldwide demonstrations, the upcoming UN climate talks or the apparent apostasy of Standard Oil’s descendants, you are correct.

Nor was there a story the 23rd.

The Journal did publish an opinion column by Amy Goodman, the syndicated moralist, Saturday, Sept. 20, where she previewed the UN climate change meeting. And Tuesday, Sept. 23, it published Eugene Robinson’s opinions on the topic.

But not a word in what the Journal passes off as news pages.

Was it an accident? Happenstance? Confusing opinion and news?

Before you settle on an explanation, consider the editors’ track record. They routinely ignore positive alternative energy developments, routinely publish Op Eds from the fossil fuel industry and its front groups and have never, if memory serves, printed a word on that industry’s efforts to distort climate science.

Just the other day, for example, Sept. 22, Emily Atkin at ThinkProgress reported Google’s funding of ALEC (a Koch brothers’ tool) was a “mistake,” according to company chairman Eric Schmidt. He went on to say ALEC is spreading harmful lies about global warming and “making the world a much worse place.”

And yesterday, the Guardian’s Dominic Rushe reported that Facebook is ready to join the exodus from ALEC.

Not the sort of thing the Albuquerque Journal finds newsworthy.

Mind you, Journal editors recently came across an alternative energy story they judged belonged in the daily and what’s more, deserved Page One.

California solar plant scorching birds in midair” was the headline on the Tuesday, Aug. 19 account.

So no, neither accident, happenstance or confusion of news and opinion explains the Albuquerque Journal’s misadventures. Management simply is determined to advocate its political stand on climate change. And journalism be damned.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Laura F. Sanchez

    There was also a climate march in Albuquerque on Saturday, Sept 20th. Three or four hundred people marched through downtown for a couple of hours. There may have been a short Journal piece online. Don’t know if there was anything in the Sunday journal about the local action because I’ve long since stopped buying that freaking propaganda rag. Can you imagine the coverage if 300-400 Tea Party supporters marched across the west mesa?

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