Meet Greenwashing's Twin: Greenscouring


As the world’s environmental problems continue to make themselves abundantly known, we find more and more innovative new ways to tackle them.

That’s quite a story – yet apparently, there are more important things to cover than the state of the planet. A recently published study by the Project For Excellence In Journalism (via EcoTech Daily) tracked the Wall Street Journal‘s coverage of science and environmental issues from mid-December 2007, for three months. They found that the number of these stories had dropped by more than a half – from a twentieth of the total news covered, down to less than one-fortieth. A study of the New York Times ‘s editorial front page turned up a similar result.

What can we make of “green-scouring”? Even factoring in the U.S. Presidential campaign, it appears that in these hugely influential newspapers, important eco-news – whether positive or negative – is mostly being ignored.

To a degree, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times’ disconnect with environmental issues speaks to the decline of traditional mass media.” – EcoTech Daily

The online world is now the place for the freshest eco-journalism – the popularity of all these sites proves it. And no wonder: with only one or two editions a day and all the delays of distribution, print newspapers are struggling to keep up and stay relevant. Newspapers are in enough trouble already. And the last thing they need is to be skipping the stories that matter.

Images: Miley Cyrus partial crop via Greg Wilker, a green fly on the wall: jpctalbot, screenshots of L.A. Times online, and “hear, see, speak no evil” by megame

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.