While the climate continues to have too little visibility in the main Italian media, the advertising spaces dedicated to the companies most responsible for global warming are increasing.
This is the picture that emerges from the new report by Greenpeace Italia, created by the Observatory of Pavia, specialized in the analysis of communication. The study focused on how the five spoke about the climate crisis between September and December 2022 newspapers national most widespread (Corriere della Sera, la Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore, Avvenire, La Stampa), the main ones newscasts evening – of the Rai, Mediaset and La7 networks – and a sample of Television programs of deepening.
In the newspapers, the advertising of the fossil industry doubles, the space dedicated to the climate decreases
The results show that in the latter part of the year the number of articles published by the main newspapers Italians in which the climate crisis is explicitly mentioned is decreased compared to the previous quarter, reaching an average of just 2.5 articles per day. The peak was recorded in November, on the occasion of the Sharm el-Sheikh climate summit (COP27) and the tragic flood that hit the island of Ischia.
In contrast, increase instead the space offered by the newspapers at advertising of the fossil fuel industry and of the automotive, airline and cruise companies, among the major causes of global warming: the average is over 6 advertisements a week, i.e. almost one a day and about twice compared to the previous quarter. The influence of the economic world on the press also emerges from the analysis of the subjects who have the most voice in the story of the climate crisis: in fact, companies (15%) are in second place, overtaking environmental associations (14%), experts (10 %) and national politicians and institutions (10%), preceded only by international politicians and institutions (21%) by virtue of COP27.
Even on TV the climate continues to be snubbed: the news talk about the climate crisis in less than 3% of the news
As for the televisiona slight increase in coverage by the newscasts prime-time TV shows, which nonetheless covered the climate crisis in less than 3% of the news broadcasts. TG1 and TG3 are the newscasts that have dedicated the most space to the problem, while Enrico Mentana’s TG La7 is confirmed as bringing up the rear, with just 1.4% of the services broadcast.
In the in-depth television programmes finally, space was given to the climate crisis in 116 of the 450 episodes monitored, equal to 26% of the total, slightly down on the previous quarter. The most virtuous program is Rai1’s Unomattina, while at the bottom of the rankings are the two La7 programs: L’Aria che tira and Otto e mezzo.
“The lack of attention to the problem shown by La7 programs reflects an editorial line that favors the story of politics – observes Greenpeace Italia in a note -, in which the climate crisis, as also documented during the last electoral campaign, is a very neglected”.
A “bewildering” indifference
«The last months of 2022 confirm the shocking indifference of the Italian media and politicians towards the most serious environmental emergency of our time», he declares Giancarlo Sturloni, head of communication of Greenpeace Italy. “That won’t change as long as major news outlets continue to depend on them advertising of polluting companies, and as long as the political class prefers to pander to the interests of the fossil fuel industry rather than those of citizens and citizens. We live in a country where companies have a huge influence on media storytelling of the climate crisis and where a giant like ENI can dictate energy policies to the government».
Based on the results of the study, Greenpeace has updated the ranking of the main Italian newspapersevaluated through five parameters:
how much they talk about the climate crisis; if they cite fossil fuels among the causes; how much voice polluting companies have; how much space their ads are given; whether the newsrooms are transparent about the funding received from polluting companies.
The latter parameter was evaluated with a questionnaire that Greenpeace sent to the directors of the five newspapers, to which only Avvenire partially replied. Considering the average of the five parameters, only Avvenire exceeds the sufficiency (3.4 points out of 5), however the scores of Il Sole 24 Ore (2.6) and La Stampa (2.4) are poor, while Corriere fails (2 ,2) and La Repubblica (2,0).
Source: Greenpeace Italy
The monitoring of the Italian media will also continue in 2023 as part of the Greenpeace Italy “Stranger Green” campaign against greenwashing and misinformation on the climate crisis. With this campaign, the environmental association intends to counter the influence of the gas and oil industry on the information system, which “threatens the freedom of the pressprevents you from knowing the truth on the climate crisis and delays the actions we urgently need to accelerate the energy transition towards renewable sources.
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