The media have become as much a problem for serious debate as an enabler for that debate to happen.
They have added credence to otherwise unsubstantiated claims due to the claim of "balanced" approach to the issue which has resulted in a 'us vs. them' philosophy in so many issues in which proper scientific, evidential analysis is brought along side speculative, unsubstantiated and biased arguments and presented as equivalent when that is not the case.
This has happened in so many facets of current debates, and is not necessarily restricted to the lowest-common denominator type media outlets that truly there appears to be no hope that proper researched, independently verified fact can be brought to the public without a major injection of cash and a carefully planned advertising campaign accompanying it. Because where there is opposition, with all their clear bias, certain parts of the media will ignore it to give them a microphone, whether willing or not to voice their opposition no matter the weight and validity of their arguments.
Science has always battled the incumbents. In the past it was the religious leaders where the questions of how were being answered quicker than the clergy could justify. Today, science is besieged by not only the religious, but by those with the political and monetary will to preserve a status quo that may well spell hardship on future generations.
Climate change is one such area of science where those who are doing the actual work can have their findings drowned out by anyone who has a microphone and a name.