Catastrophic, man-made wildfires are raging in the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of our Earth. It’s another massive climate emergency that the mainstream corporate media is ignoring.
Scientists say that if these fires continue, they will speed up the climate crisis.1 This destruction is being fueled partly by American investment firms that care more about their profits than the planet.2 That gives Americans the opportunity and responsibility to act. But Americans won’t even know there is a crisis if news media outlets fail to provide appropriate coverage. We need to demand that traditional media do better and start covering the Brazilian Amazon rainforest news now.
Sign the petition to major media outlets: Stop ignoring and glossing over the severity of Amazon rainforest wildfires.
The Brazilian Amazon is home to 300 different groups of indigenous people and millions of plant and animal species and takes in most of the world’s carbon.3 But Brazil’s, far-right, pro-business president has cut funding to environmental agencies, encouraged deforestation and turned away millions of dollars of aid for wildfire help.4
Meanwhile, traditional media is largely ignoring the issue. Indigenous people of the Amazon have been organizing, resisting and sounding the alarm about rainforest destruction for years.5 But the media has time and time again chosen sensationalism over coverage of issues that affect all of us and center Black and Brown people.
The Notre Dame cathedral fire had over 350 media segments in just the first week of coverage. Our friends at Media Matters for America found that the Amazon fires got only 25 mediocre segments, and not until weeks later. That’s 93% less coverage for a planet-wide crisis than for one historic building.6
Media outlets are doing the world a disservice by ignoring the severity of the situation in Brazil. They should not be allowed to determine who or what is good enough to get coverage. When Notre Dame burned, the media created the perfect environment for international outcry. We need that for the Amazon rainforest right now. It’s time for the media to give airtime to the Amazon rainforest fires and highlight the current resistance and need for support.
Add your name with CREDO to tell major media outlets: You have a responsibility to report on what affects us all. Give more airtime to the Amazon rainforest fires now.
- Marcelo de Souza, “AP Explains: The causes and risks of the Amazon fires” Associated Press News, Aug. 23, 2019.
- Christopher Ingraham, “How beef demand is accelerating the Amazon’s deforestation and climate peril” The Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2019.
- Shannon Sims, “The Land Battle Behind the Fires in the Amazon” The Atlantic, Aug. 27, 2019.
- Bill Chappell, “Brazil Rejects G-7’s Offer Of $22 Million To Fight Amazon Fires” National Public Radio, Aug. 27, 2019.
- Shelby Brown, “Amazon rainforest fires: What’s happening now and how you can help” CNET, Aug. 26, 2019.
- Lis Power, “The Notre Dame fire garnered wall-to-wall cable news coverage. The Amazon fires are barely breaking through.” Media Matters, Aug. 23, 2019.