Deception & Misdirection

The Trusted News Initiative: Climate Journalism

Media Collaboration to Protect Preferred Narratives

The Trusted News Initiative (full series)
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Climate Journalism

In another example of a collaboration pushing a leftist narrative, the Trusted News Initiative tells its partners that climate change “should be at the heart of modern journalism.” The initiative argues that “this requires rethinking climate journalism from it being a ‘beat’ or ‘specialist subject’ to something that frames all our storytelling, particularly business reporting.”

Further, it says:

Climate journalism is not optional. . . . Far too often publishers and broadcasters have kept global warming in the silo of science journalism, rather than at the heart of wider business and news coverage, even though it has been known for decades that the core issues are primarily economic, with powerful interests at play.

Climate journalism offers a broader window into where journalism could be going under such collaboratives as the Trusted News Initiative.

For example, the insistence on the “settled science” of climate change has been used as a battering ram from the “we’re all going to die” crowd demanding sweeping action such as the Green New Deal.

The attitude reared its head again during various public policy debates over COVID-19, when public health officials who were wrong about so many things refused to be questioned, and Dr. Anthony Fauci proclaimed, “attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science.”

Similarly, the Trusted News Initiative could easily claim critics are attacking the truth or are in favor of misinformation and disinformation.

The organization’s mission could be noble if limited to stopping the spread of obvious disinformation, such as an AI-generated video that appears to show Hillary Clinton endorsing Ron DeSantis for president. Even here, news consumers should be expected to use some common sense, with a willingness to question the likelihood of such an occurrence.

But it’s quite another matter when media blind spots are combined with groupthink in what seems to have led to the spiking of certain accurate news stories that didn’t comfortably fit into a preferred narrative.

Liberal media bias has always been a problem, but the attitude taken by the Trusted News Initiative goes beyond bias. Rather, it’s one that that only one political narrative can possibly be accurate and all others are therefore misinformation or disinformation.

Further, constantly conflating the two isn’t a good thing either. Misinformation is false information spread with or without the intention to mislead, according to the American Psychological Association. Disinformation is more nefarious and refers to false information spread for the deliberate purpose of misleading—often for political or financial reasons. Disinformation is often associated with propaganda by a government agency—such as military or intelligence—for subversion.

Just as science is supposed to be determined by honest inquiry and experimenting, in journalism, the truth should be obtained through honest investigation and inquiry. That’s better achieved when news outlets are fiercely competing to get to the bottom of a story rather than collaborating on a shared version.

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the author of Abuse of Power: Inside the Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump (Bombardier Books, 2020). He is a journalist who reports for the Daily Signal,…
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