On Saturday, June 22nd, climate activists banded together to protest the New York Times’ coverage of climate change. As a result, over 70 activists were arrested by Manhattan police.
The protest appears to have been orchestrated by Extinction Rebellion, an organization that organizes non-violent protests against “climate breakdown…and ecological collapse.” The group aims to motivate media companies to be more urgent in their coverage of climate change.
The New York Times Disagrees With Premise of the Climate Protest
In a statement sent to CNN by the New York Times, it is clear that the media conglomerate respects the group’s right to express its frustration. On the other hand, it vehemently disagrees with protestors on their views of the company’s coverage.
The statement claimed that “There is no national news organization that devotes more time, staff or resources to producing deeply reported coverage to help readers understand climate change than The New York Times.” Quantitatively, the New York Times reportedly published over 800 articles on the climate in 2018 alone.
And the organization agrees that the New York Times is leading in its coverage of the climate, as it voiced on Twitter. But that’s what it views to be the problem — that climate coverage is “complacent and non-urgent.”
So, what exactly does Extinction Rebellion want from media companies?
What Climate Protestors Want From Media Companies
Based on Extinction Rebellion’s official “climate media standards,” here’s what protestors want from media companies.
- A front-page story on climate from media companies every day.
- Discuss climate breakdown in every beat.
- Suggest “real solutions” to the climate crisis.
- Use “climate emergency” language.
- Support for the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge and zero emissions in 10 years or less.
- Removing financial interests in fossil fuel companies.
Essentially, what protestors want is coverage of climate change at a more frequent and urgent level.
Ramifications of the Climate Protest
Though Extinction Rebellion has every right to organize protests against the New York Times, its protestors decided to climb the awning of the New York Times building to hang signs. Police took these activists into custody. Currently, there’s no word as to how their offenses will be treated criminally.