Since 2011, Reuters’ coverage of climate change has fallen by almost 50% according to Media Matters for America. The reduction is believed to be due in large part to the actions of senior editor and climate change skeptic Paul Ingrassia. A former staff member reported that he regularly cut stories related to climate change and did not view the topic as worthy of scrutiny.

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David Fogarty, a former Reuters employee who wrote many pieces on climate change, described his interactions with Ingrassia;

“In April last year, Paul Ingrassia (then deputy editor-in-chief) and I met and had a chat at a company function. He told me he was a climate change skeptic. Not a rabid skeptic, just someone who wanted to see more evidence mankind was changing the global climate. Progressively, getting any climate change-themed story published got harder. It was a lottery… Debate on some story ideas generated endless bureaucracy by editors frightened to take a decision, reflecting a different type of climate within Reuters – the climate of fear.”

“By mid-October, I was informed that climate change just wasn’t a big story for the present, but that it would be if there was a significant shift in global policy, such as the US introducing an emissions cap-and-trade system. Very soon after that conversation I was told my climate change role was abolished. I was asked to take over the regional shipping role and that I had less than a week to decide.”

The new media community began to take a closer look at Reuters after Fogarty, a 20 year veteran, decided to resign. Media Matters noted that Reuters’ coverage of climate stories dropped a whopping 48% in a six month period after Ingrassia joined the organization. Many in the financial world who depend on Reuters for information are worried that their lack of attention to a phenomenon that has a great deal of impact on markets is irresponsible. Climate advocates have accused the agency of giving weight to fringe theories and groups in their articles, making references to ideas that only represent 3% of climate scientists. They face competition from Bloomberg, who has taken a more dedicated approach to writing about climate change.

+ Reuters

Via The Guardian

Images via Wikicommons user Producer Matthew and NASA.