Accuracy in Media

As we have reported this week, the mainstream media and alternative media sources presented one-sided views on the climate change protest during the halftime of the annual Yale-Harvard college football game.

About 150 protesters stormed the field, descending from the spectator stands and unveiled climate change banners and chanted anti-fossil fuel slogans. The protesters wanted to apply pressure to university administrators from both institutions to divest from fossil fuel companies.

The game was delayed almost an hour, with at least one source saying it was about 45 minutes, and it could have had significant ramifications if the game continued past sunset. The Yale Bowl, which hosted this year’s game, does not have permanent lights for a night game.

NowThis News, similar to BuzzFeed’s article, reiterated progressive climate change rhetoric in its summary about the protest. NowThis’s article ran with the headline, “Students Protest for Climate Crisis During Harvard-Yale Football Game,” but the sub-headline elaborated on the protest and said, “The game was delayed nearly an hour after students from both universities swarmed the field to protest their institutions’ involvement in big oil and gas companies.”

The article mentioned the activist groups behind the protests, which were Fossil Free Yale and Divest Harvard, and how both groups have worked for seven years to push the universities to divest from fossil fuels. Also, the article highlighted the progressive enthusiasm behind the protest, from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The article included a tweet from Sanders to hammer the point that it was a public relations victory for the protest.

However, NowThis News did not present the other side of the protest, which included how the protest nearly jeopardized the annual football game due to the lack of permanent lights. Also not included in the article were counter-arguments to the climate change protest, such as statements from university officials on the protest and fans at the game who may have been upset at the delay and use of a sports game for political purposes. It was far from a fair article and representation of the protest and it is a major disappointment when it comes to neutral and impartial journalistic standards.




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