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IN INDIAN TELEVISION
Despite the growth of social media in the last few
years it is still the mainstream media that influences
public opinion. Of the 82,222 newspapers and 626
television channels in the country, space allotted to
coverage of environmental issues in less than 1.5
Environment stories have a hard time competing
with a political or economic story, and seldom see
front page coverage. Sometimes editors also ignore
environmental stories by telling that they are not
Look up the website of any leading English daily in
India: 'Environment' is usually not a marker you can
In 'The Hindu' it's nestled under 'Science and
In 'Hindustan Times', there just is no label .
In spite of the fact that environment has become an
extremely grave and sensitive issue over the years not
only in India but across the globe, Indian television news
channels, an acclaimed feature of the electronic media,
have still not impressively taken up the cause.
The dearth of environmental coverage is certainly not
due to unavailability of visual material or lack of
conflict; but because the TV channels apparently go by
the policy “why bore people with country’s efforts with
regard to environmental protection when they can be
While pointing at the non-priority status of
environmental news and issues in the television
newsrooms, the reports expressed concern over
limited knowledge of reporters that, many times,
leads to environmental catastrophe.
The stories suffer content limitations, typically
providing little qualification or support from
scientific data, making vague references to the
scientific communication, and emphasizing
As part of its study, CMS
ENVIS Centre undertook regular
analysis of the primetime,
between 7 PM and 11 PM, news
content aired by six widely
viewed television news channels
of India, during the period from
2009 to 2013.
The channels chosen for the
study included DD News, Aaj
Tak, CNN IBN, NDTV 24X7, Star
News (Now ABP News) and Zee
Year-wise analysis of the
news channels revealed
that news on politics,
and crime had
maximum coverage in
five years, while less
than one percent of the
total time was devoted
to issues like
In 2009, as the study found, the coverage on
environment was only 1.53% and news on politics was
In the year 2010, the coverage of sports news was
17.93% against 1.29% for environment news.
Since 2011 to year 2013, politics remained dominant
while environment news coverage was on sharp decline
It was found that in the last five years, media rarely
focused on various environmental issues such as
agriculture, weather, natural disaster and wildlife.
As environment plays a vital role in keeping the earth suitable
for human civilisation, news and issues related to it need to be
given required importance and adequate space by the media
as display of its responsibility.