Covering Climate Ground Zero: Florida newspapers are connecting sea-level rise to climate change, but falling short on extreme heat

Florida Media Analysis

Public Citizen analysis shows that Florida newspapers frequently are noting the connection to climate change when reporting on rising sea levels, far fewer outlets are making the same connection when discussing extreme heat.

Summary

Between January 2017 and October 2018, Florida newspapers published 2,161 articles mentioning sea level rise. About 57 percent of those articles mentioned climate change, the report found. However, during the same 22-month period, of the 785 articles that covered extreme heat, only 22 percent mentioned climate change.

Additionally, over half of the articles that mentioned heat and climate change were not primarily about heat or record temperatures.

On our current greenhouse gas pollution pathway, rising temperatures could hurt Florida sooner and more severely than rising seas. Many Florida newspapers have been missing this story even while doing some great reporting on sea levels. You need a wider lens to capture all of the climate-related harms endangering the Sunshine State. David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program