world wildlife fund report
Image credit: João Alves/Unsplash

For most of yesterday, The Guardian’s Australian edition lead its website with news of impending doom for the planet, based on a World Wildlife Fund report warning of an environmental emergency threatening civilisation:

It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying the web of life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.

The report found that humans have wiped out 60% of the world’s animal populations since 1970, and WWF’s Mike Barrett didn’t pull any punches on the significance of the statistic: “This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is. This is actually now jeopardising the future of people. Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ — it is our life-support system.”

Such dramatic news — with such colourful quotes — would surely be considered newsworthy by other websites?

The ABC had it up on its website on Tuesday, if you scrolled down, and down, and down:

But the story didn’t make the cut for its flagship 7pm news bulletin. Nor did it make it onto the commercial news bulletins in Sydney. Instead, their hour-long programs, and the ABC’s half-hour bulletin, included stories about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Royal Tour continuing in New Zealand, court stories about Geoffrey Rush’s defamation action against The Daily Telegraph, a new hospital opening on Sydney’s northern beaches, crime stories, and petrol prices. World stories were about the Indonesian plane crash, Angela Merkel’s resignation and good video of flooding in Venice, but nothing broader about the climate and environment.

And what about our newspapers?

Nothing in today’s Sydney Morning HeraldThe AustralianThe Age, or The Australian Financial Review. Australia’s most-read news website has the story with an Australian angle buried in its “world” section today, and it isn’t one of the site’s most-read stories.

News Corp tabloids, though, including The Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, ran wire copy about the report from AFP buried on their world news pages.

So, we might be “sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” according to the WWF, but at least we know that Meghan’s team beat Harry’s in a “welly-wanging” competition in New Zealand.

Do you think this story should’ve gained more attention? Write to us at [email protected].

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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