CNN, Weather Channel Axe Environmental Units

December 31, 2008

The cable network CNN laid off its entire science and environmental team on Dec. 2, 2008. NBC's recently acquired The Weather Channel on November 19, 2008, had given the axe to the entire staff of the "Forecast Earth" environmental program during the middle of NBC's "Green Week," during which NBC promotes itself by focusing on its environmental coverage.

At a time when public understanding of complex science and environmental issues like climate is ever more critical, the moves caused consternation.

Four journalism groups wrote CNN expressing concern at what they called the network's "shortsighted decision." The groups were the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, the National Association of Science Writers, the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the World Federation of Science Journalists.

The four j-groups have agreed to continue collaborating on behalf of journalists covering science and the environment.