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Media Giants Lead the Way to Green Future

Editorial

With the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists taking place this week, it reminds us that one of the good news stories of the year is how media companies have embraced the green movement and have realized that it can be good business to do good.

What's even more encouraging about media companies jumping on the green bandwagon is that the movement is taking place despite the presence of an administration in Washington that has been in constant denial for the past eight years about global warming and what we can do to stem or reverse it.

Topping the list for kudos are Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. Mr. Murdoch has long been identified as a political conservative, so some were surprised when he committed News Corp. to be carbon dioxide-neutral by 2010.

The truth is that Mr. Murdoch's primary loyalties have been to his business interests, and he has identified this issue as good for News Corp.

Mr. Murdoch pledged that News Corp. will reduce its net carbon dioxide emissions from 641,150 tons a year to zero through conservation and offsets. Drilling down to the TV series level, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Imagine Entertainment have pledged that by the time this year's season finale of "24" is filmed, they will have reduced carbon emissions enough to claim to be carbon-neutral for the year.

In a symbolic sense, Mr. Murdoch is giving an object lesson in corporate responsibility, as well as lending weight to the chorus of people who are concerned that human activity is changing the earth's climate.

Mr. Murdoch isn't alone in practicing what he preaches in terms of climate change. The Sundance Channel has long promoted issue-oriented environmental programming. And Time Warner's CNN is devoting substantial reporting resources to tracking the climate change story. Likewise, General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal is advancing coverage of environmental issues with NBC News programming, and NBCU has pledged to reduce greenhouse gases at least 3 percent by 2012.

Discovery Communications is coming out with its Planet Green channel next year. And the National Geographic folks have Green.NationalGeographic.com.

The list of media companies that have jumped on the ecologically friendly, biodiesel-powered green bus goes on and on.

News Corp. and other media companies setting the agenda on climate change deserve praise. They're showing that those in a position to do something can make a positive change on an issue that touches everyone equally.

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