Bias In News Reporting

UPDATE: November 14 2009 There is a very informative discussion of my post at http://cruelmistress.wordpress.com/2009/11/14/bias-in-reporting/.  The issues that are raised in that post are valid; hopefully, my post will encourage a rigorous scientific assessment of this question.

There is a press release on a paper yesterday from NCAR titled Record High Temperatures Far Outpace Record Lows Across U.S.

I plan to post on the paper on which this news article is based next week ( it has major problems, as already identified at Watts Up With That). However, today, I want to just compare the news exposure of three press releases, one of which supports a surface temperature changes from the human addition of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (the NCAR press release), and two others which present other explanations for at least part of the surface temperature increases.

The NCAR press release as of 10am EST November 13 2009 has 95 links (under the lead author) at google news.

The other two press releases are

“Study gives clearer picture of how land-use changes affect U.S. climate”  from Purdue which has 3 links (under any of the co-authors) in google news where the press relase has the text

“What we highlight here is that a significant trend, particularly the warming trend in terms of temperatures, can also be partially explained by land-use change,” said Dev Niyogi, a Purdue earth and atmospheric sciences and agronomy professor, and the Indiana state climatologist.”

New Idea offered to fight climate change  from Georgia Tech which has 6 links (under the author’s name) in google news where the press release has the text

“Across the (United States) as a whole, approximately 50 percent of the warming that has occurred since 1950 is due to land use changes (usually in the form of clearing forest for crops or cities) rather than to the emission of greenhouse gases,” Stone said. “Most large U.S. cities … are warming at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole — a rate that is mostly attributable to land use change.”

The news community clearly has a bias in its reporting.

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