Should public radio program in the public interest?

NPR is supposed to be our national public radio, but they're barely covering climate issues that are in the public's interest.

Only one month ago, a national New York Times/CBS News poll found that half of all Americans think that global warming is already having a serious impact. Sixty percent of those surveyed even said that protecting our environment should be a priority “even at the risk of curbing economic growth.”

Despite those clear statistics, NPR's climate coverage has declined steadily over recent years, and now they're slashing their environmental staff to one part-time reporter. According to Katherine Bagley of InsideClimate News, at the beginning of this year, NPR “had three full-time reporters and one editor dedicated” to climate and environmental news. Now “one remains – and he is covering it only part-time.”

This new policy is an insult to the vast majority of the public who cares about our environment, and it blatantly ignores the real risks we face from global warming. It also hints at where NPR is getting funding, and who is pulling the strings at the so-called public radio network.

Rather than focusing on the most important issue of our time – our warming planet – the network has joined the long list of organizations doing the bidding of Big Oil. The fact is, the radio airwaves are part of our commons, and they should be used by those working for the common good.

We only have one planet to call home, and we need to do everything we can to protect it. That includes providing coverage of the important climate and environmental issues that the public needs to know about.

It’s time to demand that our national public radio does a better job covering those issues.

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