Media coverage of climate change way down, federal scientists need permission to speak

“A dramatic reduction in Canadian media coverage of climate-change science issues is the result of the Harper government introducing new rules in 2007 to control interviews by Environment Canada scientists with journalists, says a newly released federal document,” Canwest News Service reports.

According to the document, media coverage of climate-change science is down by over 80% since the new rules were put into place in 2007.

According to the Canwest report, the document was leaked by an Environment Canada employee who asked not to be named.

Canwest reported:

“The Environment Canada analysis noted that four prominent scientists, who regularly spoke for the government on climate change science issues, appeared in only 12 newspaper clippings in the first nine months of 2008, compared with 99 clippings over the same period in 2007.”

Environment Canada responded to Canwest News Service with an emailed statement. The statement noted that the new policy “merely assures that communications with the media are co-ordinated, to achieve the goals set out above — namely, quick, accurate and consistent responses across Canada” and added that the department “responded to 254 climate change-related requests in 2008 and 428 climate change requests in 2009.”

Read the full article by Mike DeSouza here.