"Americans on Environment News: We Want More!"

"It may not come as much of a surprise that news on the environment drags far behind in popularity compared with, say, news on whether or not Lindsay Lohan wears a bra, but apparently Americans are beginning to realize there's a problem. According to results from a nationwide poll released Thursday, roughly 79 percent of Americans believe environmental news needs a drastic overhaul—both in terms of how much it's being covered and what's making up the conversation."

"The poll, conducted by the Project for Improved Environmental Coverage (PIEC), surveyed a thousand Americans by phone last weekend. Four out of five people surveyed agreed that 'news coverage should be improved.' The results were consistent across variables like age, race, gender, and level of education. 'The poll affirms the fact that Americans want better coverage,' says Shannon Binns, project manager at PIEC. 'They're tired of the gamesmanship and the politics.'

Environmental stories currently make up a miniscule fraction of mainstream news coverage in the US. According to the Pew Research Center's Year in News index, only 1 percent of news stories in 2011 covered stories on the environment—down from a whopping 2 percent in 2010. Campaign and election coverage, in contrast, made up roughly 11 percent. And more often than not these stories are relegated to special "environment" sections, which Binns says marginalizes environmental stories instead of integrating them more fully into what we consider news."

Azeen Ghorayshi reports for Mother Jones April 20, 2012.

Source: Mother Jones, 04/23/2012