Adam Ramsay (editor at Open Democracy UK) reveals various ways in which corporate interests mould media coverage of climate issues.
As newspaper profits fall, journalists are given less time and fewer resources for investigations that hold power to account. Instead they find themselves writing puff pieces supporting advertisers.
Using his own experience of the Paris climate conference, Adam describes how most journos followed the headline meetings, whereas a little digging on the fringe quickly demonstrated that companies like Shell have a very different business model from the one they make public.
Lobbyists and so-called “think tanks” also have a sinister role in the media, with Tufton Street groups like the Centre for Policy Studies regularly putting out fake stories denigrating renewable energy, and the Institute of Economic Affairs receiving funding directly from companies like BP.
The good news is that these relationships are being investigated and revealed by the ever-growing network of independent media, like Open Democracy and DeSmogUK. By supporting this growing sector either directly through subscription or donation, or via The Media Fund initiative, ordinary people can fight back against the spin, and take on the fossil-fuel industry spin.