Fox News doesn't fear monger in a great article on the weakened carbon uptake in the Amazon and African tropics
This Fox News article summarizes a study published in Nature which found that tropical forests are now losing much of their ability to store carbon – a key finding related to the fight against climate change. The study took place over almost three decades and examined hundreds of thousands of trees around the world. Projections developed from this study show even more dire predictions than previously calculated.
Julia Musto of Fox News does a good job of presenting the scientific content of the study in an organized manner that respects the scientific process. Rather than simply presenting the findings and letting the reader blindly interpret them, Musto describes the exact methodology that was used by the researchers. This gives the article an air of transparency with which the reader can trust.
Rather than just limiting the reach of the article to just the one scientific study, Musto brings in other climate change related talking points. Articles from other respected news organizations such as the Washington Post and the Guardian are also used to back up the claims of the article.
It is common to read articles which contain fear mongering and characterize climate change in an extremely negative manner, which although important, can distract from the science. This article is careful to balance both the necessary call to action and the caution to respect scientific studies.
A news story written by Julia Musto on the Fox News website reported, “Tropical forests losing their ability to absorb carbon: study” based on the research of Nature’s published article, “Asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests”. The news story describes how the study was led by the University of Leeds whereby teams of European and African scientists examined more than 300,000 trees over the course of three decades in the Amazon and African tropics, providing the first large-scale evidence that some areas exhibit weakened carbon uptake. The news story was a summary of the published research paper in Nature, but also other articles by The Guardian and The Washington Post that also covered the same research article. This news story was brief and covered the main points such as the methods, statistical models, key results and importance, and quotes from one of the co-authors of the research paper, Simon Lewis. The news story by Musto interestingly included information about the research paper using quotes/information from the other news stories rather than getting the information directly from the research paper. This may not be the most effective way of reporting the study as the information from the other news stories may not be accurate or the information may distort after it is repeatedly reported, but it is beneficial to include information on how other news outlets are reporting the same research article. The news stories by The Guardian and The Washington Post were more in depth and included more opinions and quotes of several experts and scientists, among explaining the methods and key results with more detail, as well as emphasizing the importance of the study and what should be done internationally to curb the effects of climate change and human impacts on the forests. This includes the way the forests turn from carbon sinks to carbon sources and how forests and tree planting may not be the most effective way at mitigating the effects of climate change, which the news story by Musto also briefly mentions.
In summary, the news story by Musto was effective at describing the main points of the research article in a neutral and professional manner in third person, and with quotes and opinions from experts rather than including their own. A social media link to the news story author is available which helps to provide the reader a way to contact them if there are any questions regarding the news story.
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