Put More Climate Change Stories on TV

Put More Climate Change Stories on TV

New research from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and Deloitte has found that climate change is hardly referenced on TV. The academy analyzed 128,719 non-news programs from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Sky between September 2017 and September 2018, and ‘climate change’ is lagging far behind other terms like ‘cats’ and ‘cake.”

Graphic source: Forbes

BAFTA is calling for more environmental storylines to be mentioned on TV. BAFTA’s chairwoman, Dame Pippa Harris, said that the industry should start using “powerful human stories to connect audiences with the world around them.”

Television can be very influential and can change the public’s opinion on health and social issues. When the documentary Blue Planet II was released, more people were exposed to the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. Soap operas like EastEnders tackled issues such as postpartum psychosis, and charities found that they received an influx in calls for help. However, climate change seems to be a tricky topic to incorporate. Writer Charlie Brooker for the show, Black Mirror, has said that putting climate change in plotlines is a “tough nut to crack” as he doesn’t know “how much drama can change people’s opinions and behavior.” But screenwriter for the show, Lisa Holdsworth, said that small things like showing people recycling or talking about climate change can make a big difference. So far, BBC, Sky, and Channel 4 have released statements saying that they will use the research to take on the challenge of adding environmental topics to the programs they broadcast.



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