Written by: Ruben Saucedo (California Maritime Academy)
Edited by: Aimee Casey (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Advisor: Nolan Higdon (California State University, East Bay)
In the United States, the corporate media dictates public information which heavily impacts the public opinion. Stories of little importance permeate coverage and relegate relevant issues that the country is currently facing. In addition, important stories addressed by the corporate media are constantly obfuscated or hidden entirely for a multitude of corporate and political reasons. The result is an uninformed or misinformed public, unaware of important issues that affect the world and the next generations. In 2016, the corporate media ignored the critical connection between extreme weather and global warming while the independent media covered it.
In 2016, the independent media covered the correlation between extreme weather and global warming. On October 6, 2016, DemocracyNow!, an independent media source, interviewed Michael Mann. Mann is a professor at Penn State University and the author of “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy.” The interview discussed the intense damage that Hurricane Matthew caused. Scientists are unveiling that the hurricanes are getting much worse every year as global warming increases. This not only constitutes to hurricanes but all of the extreme weather and natural disasters that can occur like tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and flooding.
Since the beginning of recording temperatures and weather in 1880, 2016 experienced the most extreme weather to date. July was the hottest month of the year. Temperature records were broken again after surpassing last year; Kuwait recorded the blistering high temperature of 129.2 degrees. These are all examples of how the world is being impacted by global warming, thus causing extreme weather and disasters. With scorching hot temperatures natural fires have increased and surpassed previous years. With the corporate media not covering stories like this, it is difficult to address the issue and find a solution.
The corporate media has committed news abuse in its coverage of this story. In other words, corporate media sources like ABC, CBS, and NBC have not covered this story nearly as well as it should have been thus misinforming the public of this issue. USA Today did not publish an article addressing the role of climate change in worsening Hurricane Matthew. The corporate media committed news abuse by not reporting the story or examining the critical connection between global warming and extreme weather.
The corporate media did not fully cover this issue because they do not want to acknowledge the origins and repercussions of global warming. They are going with the “out of sight, out of mind” method. If the media does not report about global warming, they do not have to acknowledge devastating corporate origins or deal with the consequences. Global warming may not impact everyone right now, but it will definitely impact our children and grandchildren if this issue is not taken seriously.
The media can be a very good source to get information out to the public so the worlds issues can be addressed and potentially resolved, if used correctly. A lot of the time media is not used for good. Stories like “Amid Media Blackout over Climate Change Links to Hurricane Matthew, Top Scientist Speaks Out,” are pushed to the side by the corporate media which causes most of the public who listen to corporate media to be misinformed. Luckily, we still have some independent news media that can shine some light upon these issues so that we can solve our problems instead of hide them.
My name is Ruben Saucedo. I am 21 years old and from Southern California. I am a mechanical engineering student at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Ca.