In the year following a grant of more than $8 million to the Associated Press from key climate change advocates, the news service has poured out at least 64 stories warning of environmental calamity, according to a new media study.
Media Research Center Business charted the stories and language used following the multimillion-dollar grant and found that AP also used over 500 environmental extremism buzzwords in the stories.
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The media giant, which feeds news outlets worldwide, received grants totaling $8 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Quadrivium, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation in February 2022.
AP said it would hire 20 new environmental writers with the money to create a climate swat team to “enhance the global understanding of climate change and its impact across the world.”
So far, it has lived up to its promise, said MRC Business, a branch of the conservative media watchdog.
In its study, provided to Secrets, MRC Business wrote, “The term ‘Climate Change’ itself appeared a whopping 212 times. ‘Warming’ and ‘Global Warming’ appeared 140 times collectively. ‘Extreme(s)’ emerged 32 times and ‘Disaster(s)’ and ‘Climate Disaster’ appeared a collective 30 times. One Dec. 9, 2022, AP story was headlined: ‘New abnormal: Climate disaster damage down to $268 billion.’”
AP pledged it would keep total control of stories despite the infusion of cash.
Reporting supported by philanthropic donations has increased recently as advertising has dried up. Even the New York Times uses it.
While reporters have expressed concern, editors have promised not to cave to the politics of donors. All those that provided the grant money to AP have been climate activists.
Hewlett, for example, said on its webpage that its grants “focus on cleaning up power production, using less oil, using energy more efficiently, preserving forests, addressing non-CO2 greenhouse gases, and financing climate-friendly investments.”
The MRC Business study authors wrote, “The so-called ‘journalism’ AP has been doing on climate involves behaving like the de facto mouthpiece for its major left-wing donors who have an obsession with pushing apocalyptic climate narratives on the internet.”
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Washington Secrets works with MRC every Monday to come up with the best example of media bias for the weekly “Liberal Media Scream” feature. While the focus is usually politics, the feature includes “woke” politics, such as climate change extremism.
In its study, MRC Business highlighted one story about a United Nations report that included several climate buzzwords. “Deadly with extreme weather now, climate change is about to get so much worse,” it opened. “It is likely going to make the world sicker, hungrier, poorer, gloomier and way more dangerous in the next 18 years with an ‘unavoidable’ increase in risks, a new United Nations science report says,” it added.
MRC Business said that while the AP has noted its funding on related stories, a concern is that a partner does not also include that note.