Papers on media and climate change
Posted by Ari Jokimäki on October 4, 2010
This is a list of papers on the media and climate change. The list is not complete, and will most likely be updated in the future in order to make it more thorough and more representative.
UPDATE (February 2, 2011): “Additional papers” section added including lot of papers. Thanks to Alon for providing a huge list of papers, see the comment section.
Self-censorship and science: a geographical review of media coverage of climate tipping points – Antilla (2010) “Public perception of global climate change is strongly influenced by media constructions of scientific knowledge. This paper explores recent scientific findings and the press coverage thereof and is based on a content analysis of two years of global reporting on climate related positive feedback mechanisms (climate system responses to global warming which lead to further warming). Results indicate that non-US news organizations, especially in the UK, are at the forefront of the discourse on climate feedback loops. Poor US press coverage on such climate thresholds might be understood not only as self-censorship, but as a “false negative” error.” Liisa Antilla, Public Understanding of Science March 2010 vol. 19 no. 2 240-256, doi: 10.1177/0963662508094099. [Full text]
Media, Politics and Climate Change: Towards a New Research Agenda – Anderson (2009) “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and the media have been demonstrated to play a key role in shaping public perceptions and policy agendas. Journalists are faced with multiple challenges in covering this complex field. This article provides an overview of existing research on the media framing of climate change, highlighting major research themes and assessing future potential research developments. It argues that analysis of the reporting of climate science must be placed in the wider context of the growing concentration and globalization of news media ownership, and an increasingly ‘promotional culture’, highlighted by the rapid rise of the public relations industry in recent years and claims-makers who employ increasingly sophisticated media strategies. Future research will need to examine in-depth the targeting of media by a range of actors, as well as unravel complex information flows across countries as media increasingly converge.” [Full text]
Global warming—global responsibility? Media frames of collective action and scientific certainty – Olausson (2009) “The increasing interconnectedness of the world that characterizes the process of globalization compels us to interlink local, national, and transnational phenomena, such as environmental risks, in both journalistic and academic discourse. Among environmental risks of global scope climate change is probably the one receiving the most attention at present, not least in the media. Globalization notwithstanding, national media are still dominated by a national logic in the presentation of news, and tensions arise between this media logic and the transnational character of environmental risks that call for a collective responsibility transcending the borders of the nation-states. This article presents results from studies of the construction of global climate change in three Swedish newspapers. It discusses the media’s attribution of responsibility for collective action along an axis ranging from local to national to transnational, and highlights the media’s reluctance to display any kind of scientific uncertainty that would undermine the demand for collective action. The results underline the media’s responsiveness to the political setting in which they operate and the growing relevance of the transnational political realm of Europe for the construction of news frames on global climate change in European national media.” [Full text]
Ideological cultures and media discourses on scientific knowledge: re-reading news on climate change – Carvalho (2007) “Focusing on the representation of climate change in the British “quality press,” this article argues that the discursive (re)construction of scientific claims in the media is strongly entangled with ideological standpoints. Understood here as a set of ideas and values that legitimate a program of action vis-à-vis a given social and political order, ideology works as a powerful selection device in deciding what is scientific news, i.e. what the relevant “facts” are, and who are the authorized “agents of definition” of science matters. The representation of scientific knowledge has important implications for evaluating political programs and assessing the responsibility of both governments and the public in addressing climate change.” Anabela Carvalho, Public Understanding of Science April 2007 vol. 16 no. 2 223-243, doi: 10.1177/0963662506066775. [Full text]
Flogging a dead norm? Newspaper coverage of anthropogenic climate change in the United States and United Kingdom from 2003 to 2006 – Boykoff (2007) “The journalistic norm of ‘balanced’ reporting (giving roughly equal coverage to both sides in any significant dispute) is recognised as both useful and problematic in communicating emerging scientific consensus on human attribution for global climate change. Analysis of the practice of this norm in United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK) newspaper coverage of climate science between 2003 and 2006 shows a significant divergence from scientific consensus in the US in 2003–4, followed by a decline in 2005–6, but no major divergence in UK reporting. These findings inform ongoing considerations about the spatially-differentiated media terms and conditions through which current and future climate policy is negotiated and implemented.” [Full text]
From convergence to contention: United States mass media representations of anthropogenic climate change science – Boykoff (2007) “This article focuses on connected factors that contribute to United States (US) media reporting on anthropogenic climate change science. It analyses US newspapers and television news from 1995 to 2006 as well as semi-structured interviews with climate scientists and environmental journalists. Through analyses of power and scale, the paper brings together issues of framing in journalism to questions of certainty/uncertainty in climate science. The paper examines how and why US media have represented conflict and contentions, despite an emergent consensus view regarding anthropogenic climate science.” Maxwell T Boykoff, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Volume 32, Issue 4, pages 477–489, October 2007, DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2007.00270.x. [Full text]
A Tale of Two Fears: Exploring Media Depictions of Nuclear Power and Global Warming – Palfreman (2006) “Advanced technologies like nuclear power and looming environmental threats such as global climate change present major policy challenge for modern cultures. Public policy about such crucial and complex issues depends on public attitudes, which, in turn, tend to be strongly affected by mass media coverage. How “well” has the mass media portrayed these two evolving risk stories? Employing perspectives from both journalism and social science, this article will first review the history of mass media coverage of each topic, then analyze their differences.” Jon Palfreman, Review of Policy Research, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 23–43, January 2006, DOI: 10.1111/j.1541-1338.2006.00184.x.
Climate of scepticism: US newspaper coverage of the science of climate change – Antilla (2005) “This two-part study integrates a quantitative review of one year of US newspaper coverage of climate science with a qualitative, comparative analysis of media-created themes and frames using a social constructivist approach. In addition to an examination of newspaper articles, this paper includes a reflexive comparison with attendant wire stories and scientific texts. Special attention is given to articles constructed with and framed by rhetoric emphasising uncertainty, controversy, and climate scepticism.” Liisa Antilla, Global Environmental Change Part A, Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2005, Pages 338-352, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2005.08.003. [Full text]
Cultural Circuits of Climate Change in U.K. Broadsheet Newspapers, 1985-2003 – Carvalho & Burgess (2005) “This article argues for a cultural perspective to be brought to bear on studies of climate change risk perception. Developing the “circuit of culture” model, the article maintains that the producers and consumers of media texts are jointly engaged in dynamic, meaning-making activities that are context-specific and that change over time. A critical discourse analysis of climate change based on a database of newspaper reports from three U.K. broadsheet papers over the period 1985-2003 is presented. This empirical study identifies three distinct circuits of climate change—1985-1990, 1991-1996, 1997-2003—which are characterized by different framings of risks associated with climate change. The article concludes that there is evidence of social learning as actors build on their experiences in relation to climate change science and policy making. Two important factors in shaping the U.K.’s broadsheet newspapers’ discourse on “dangerous” climate change emerge as the agency of top political figures and the dominant ideological standpoints in different newspapers.” Carvalho, Anabela; Burgess, Jacquelin, Risk Analysis, Volume 25, Number 6, December 2005 , pp. 1457-1469(13), DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00692.x. [Full text]
Balance as bias: global warming and the US prestige press – Boykoff & Boykoff (2004) “This paper demonstrates that US prestige-press coverage of global warming from 1988 to 2002 has contributed to a significant divergence of popular discourse from scientific discourse. This failed discursive translation results from an accumulation of tactical media responses and practices guided by widely accepted journalistic norms. Through content analysis of US prestige press—meaning the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal—this paper focuses on the norm of balanced reporting, and shows that the prestige press’s adherence to balance actually leads to biased coverage of both anthropogenic contributions to global warming and resultant action.” Maxwell T. Boykoff and Jules M. Boykoff, Global Environmental Change Part A, Volume 14, Issue 2, July 2004, Pages 125-136, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2003.10.001. [Full text]
Testing Public (Un)Certainty of Science Media Representations of Global Warming – Corbett & Dufree (2004) “This exploratory study examines whether readers’assessments of the certainty of scientific findings depend on characteristics of news stories. An experimental design tested whether adding controversy and/or context to a news story about global warming influenced readers’ perceptions of its certainty. Respondents (N = 209) were randomly assigned to read one treatment and answer a questionnaire. Overall, there was a significant difference in readers’assessment of the certainty of global warming across treatments (F = 12.59, p = .00). The context treatment produced the highest level of certainty about global warming and differed significantly from the control treatment (with neither context nor controversy) and from the controversy treatment. Control and controversy treatments resulted in the lowest levels of certainty. There was an interaction effect between treatment and environmental ideology upon certainty (F = 1.64, p = .03) and a correlation between environmental ideology and prior certainty about global warming (r = .35, p = .01), suggesting that those with proenvironmental ideology were less swayed by the treatments.” Julia B. Corbett and Jessica L. Durfee, Science Communication December 2004 vol. 26 no. 2 129-151, doi: 10.1177/1075547004270234. [Full text]
Media’s social construction of environmental issues: focus on global warming – a comparative study – Dispensa & Brulle (2003) “Global warming has been a well recognized environmental issue in the United States for the past ten years, even though scientists had identified it as a potential problem years before in 1896. We find debate about the issue in the United States media coverage while controversy among the majority of scientists is rare. The role that media plays in constructing the norms and ideas in society is researched to understand how they socially construct global warming and other environmental issues. To identify if the U.S. Media presents a biased view of global warming, the following are discussed (1) the theoretical perspective of media and the environment; (2) scientific overview and history of global warming; (3) media coverage of global warming, and (4) research findings from the content analysis of three countries’ newspaper articles and two international scientific journals produced in 2000 with comparison of these countries economies, industries, and environments. In conclusion, our research demonstrates that the U.S. with differing industries, predominantly dominated by the fossil fuel industry, in comparison to New Zealand and Finland has a significant impact on the media coverage of global warming. The U.S’s media states that global warming is controversial and theoretical, yet the other two countries portray the story that is commonly found in the international scientific journals. Therefore, media, acting as one driving force, is providing citizens with piecemeal information that is necessary to assess the social, environmental and political conditions of the country and world.” Jaclyn Marisa Dispensa, Robert J. Brulle, 2003, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 23 Iss: 10, pp.74 – 105. [Full text]
How Science Contributes to Environmental Reporting in British Newspapers: A Case Study of the Reporting of Global Warming and Climate Change – Taylor & Nathan (2002) “This article examines the role of science in environmental reporting in a number of British newspapers. The findings indicated that in reporting about global warming and climate change, the views of scientists were used to give legitimacy to the content of articles. However, in both the tabloids and broadsheets, there was little evidence provided, in the form of data, to substantiate the claims being made. Furthermore, uncertainties about global warming were not explored effectively. Newspaper reports tended to focus on the potential consequences of global warming, but made little attempt to address the suspected causes that would inevitably involve criticism of highly consumptive lifestyles in the west.” Neil Taylor and Subhashni Nathan, The Environmentalist, Volume 22, Number 4, 325-331, DOI: 10.1023/A:1020762813548.
Heat and hot air: influence of local temperature on journalists’ coverage of global warming – Shanahan & Good (2000) “This study examines relationships between local temperature in two cities (New York and Washington, D.C.) and coverage of global climate change in their local newspapers (the Times and the Post). The results show that there are some relationships between local temperature and frequency of attention to climate issues, such that journalists are more likely to discuss climate during unusually warm periods. However, support for the hypotheses was only partial; the Post did not show confirming relationships. The discussion focuses on implications for public understanding of climate change.” James Shanahan, Jennifer Good, Public Understanding of Science July 2000 vol. 9 no. 3 285-295, doi: 10.1088/0963-6625/9/3/305.
Telling Stories About Global Climate Change – McComas & Shanahan (1999) “A theory of cyclical patterns in media coverage of environmental issues must account for more than intrinsic qualities of the issues themselves: Narrative factors must be considered. A content analysis of The New York Times and The Washington Post stories from 1980 to 1995 shows how media construct narratives about global warming and how these narratives may influence attention cycles. Empirically, the frequency of newspaper coverage shows cyclical attention to global warming. The content analysis further reveals that implied danger and consequences of global warming gain more prominence on the upswing of newspaper attention, whereas controversy among scientists receives greater attention in the maintenance phase. The economics of dealing with global warming also receive greater attention during the maintenance and downside of the attention cycle. The discussion offers a narrative explanation and suggests the outcome of the “master story” of global climate change may discourage future attention to global warming.” Katherine McComas, James Shanahan, Communication Research February 1999 vol. 26 no. 1 30-57, doi: 10.1177/009365099026001003.
Global Environmental Change in the News: 1987-90 vs 1992-6 – Mazur (1998) “Hazards to the global environment, including climate change, ozone depletion, rainforest destruction, & species extinction, became important problems on the US agenda of risks after extensive media coverage, 1987-1990, & were subsequently taken up by other nations, at least until news coverage fell after 199O. Shown here is why these particular hazards, which had all been recognized by experts for years, suddenly became important news stories, & why they failed to attract much media attention during the period 1992-1996, a time when global warming & other problems intensified, & the White House was occupied by an administration ostensibly sympathetic to environmental concerns.” Mazur, A., International Sociology. Vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 457-472. 1998.
Anderegg, W. R. L., Prall, J. W., Harold, J., & Schneider, S. H. (2010). Expert credibility in climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(27), 12107 -12109. doi:10.1073/pnas.1003187107. [abstract, full text]
Arlt, D., Hoppe, I., & Wolling, J. (2011). Climate change and media usage: Effects on problem awareness and behavioural intentions. International Communication Gazette, 73(1-2), 45 -63. doi:10.1177/1748048510386741. [abstract]
Bäckstrand, K., & Lövbrand, E. (2011). Planting Trees to Mitigate Climate Change: Contested Discourses of Ecological Modernization, Green Governmentality and Civic Environmentalism. Global Environmental Politics, 6(1), 50-75. doi:10.1162/glep.2006.6.1.50. [abstract]
Beck, U. Climate for Change, or How to Create a Green Modernity? Theory, Culture & Society, 27(2-3), 254 -266. doi:10.1177/0263276409358729. [abstract]
Bell, A. (1994a). Climate of Opinion: Public and Media Discourse on the Global Environment. Discourse & Society, 5(1), 33 -64. doi:10.1177/0957926594005001003. [abstract]
Bell, A. (1994b). Media (mis)communication on the science of climate change. Public Understanding of Science, 3(3), 259 -275. doi:10.1088/0963-6625/3/3/002. [abstract]
Berk, R. A., & Schulman, D. (1995). Public perceptions of global warming. Climatic Change, 29(1), 1-33. doi:10.1007/BF01091637. [abstract]
Bokwa, A. (2003). Climatic issues in Polish printed mass media. In J. Pyka, M. Dubicka, A. Szczepankiewicz-Szmyrka, M. Sobkik, & M. Blas (Eds.), Man and Climate in the 20th Century (pp. 619-626). Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wroclawskiego.
Boykoff, M. T., & Mansfield, M. (2008). ‘Ye Olde Hot Aire’: reporting on human contributions to climate change in the UK tabloid press. Environmental Research Letters, 3(2), 024002. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/2/024002. [abstract, full text]
Boykoff, M. T. (2007). Lost in translation? United States television news coverage of anthropogenic climate change, 1995–2004. Climatic Change, 86(1-2), 1-11. doi:10.1007/s10584-007-9299-3. [abstract]
Boykoff, M. T. (2009). We Speak for the Trees: Media Reporting on the Environment. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 34(1), 431-457. doi:10.1146/annurev.environ.051308.084254. [abstract, full text]
Boykoff, M. T., & Boykoff, J. M. (2007). Climate change and journalistic norms: A case-study of US mass-media coverage. Geoforum, 38(6), 1190-1204. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2007.01.008. [abstract, full text]
Boykoff, M. T., Frame, D., & Randalls, S. (2010). Discursive stability meets climate instability: A critical exploration of the concept of [`]climate stabilization’ in contemporary climate policy. Global Environmental Change, 20(1), 53-64. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.09.003. [abstract, full text]
Boykoff, M. T., & Roberts, J. T. (2007). Media coverage of climate change: Current trends, strengths, weaknesses (Occassional Paper No. 2007/3). Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme. [abstract, full text]
Brossard, D., Shanahan, J., & McComas, K. (2004). Are Issue-Cycles Culturally Constructed? A Comparison of French and American Coverage of Global Climate Change. Mass Communication and Society, 7(3), 359. doi:10.1207/s15327825mcs0703_6. [abstract, full text]
Brown, T., Budd, L., Bell, M., & Rendell, H. The local impact of global climate change: Reporting on landscape transformation and threatened identity in the English regional newspaper press. Public Understanding of Science. doi:10.1177/0963662510361416. [abstract]
Carvalho, A. (2005). Representing the politics of the greenhouse effect: — Discursive strategies in the British media. Critical Discourse Studies, 2(1), 1. doi:10.1080/17405900500052143. [abstract]
Carvalho, A. (2010). Media(ted)discourses and climate change: a focus on political subjectivity and (dis)engagement. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, n/a-n/a. doi:10.1002/wcc.13. [abstract]
Corfee-Morlot, J., Maslin, M., & Burgess, J. (2007). Global warming in the public sphere. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 365(1860), 2741-2776. doi:10.1098/rsta.2007.2084. [abstract, full text]
Curtin, P. A., & Rhodenbaugh, E. (2001). Building the news media agenda on the environment: a comparison of public relations and journalistic sources. Public Relations Review, 27(2), 179-195. doi:10.1016/S0363-8111(01)00079-0. [abstract, full text]
Dirikx, A., & Gelders, D. (2007). Newspaper communication on global warming: Different approaches in the US and the EU? In A. Carvalho (Ed.), Communicating Climate Change: Discourses, Mediations and Perceptions (pp. 98-109). Braga: Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade, Universidade do Minho. [abstract, full text]
Dirikx, A., & Gelders, D. (2010). To frame is to explain: A deductive frame-analysis of Dutch and French climate change coverage during the annual UN Conferences of the Parties. Public Understanding of Science, 19(6), 732 -742, doi:10.1177/0963662509352044. [abstract]
Doulton, H., & Brown, K. (2009). Ten years to prevent catastrophe?: Discourses of climate change and international development in the UK press. Global Environmental Change, 19(2), 191-202. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2008.10.004. [abstract, full text]
Dunlap, R. E. (1998). Lay Perceptions of Global Risk. International Sociology, 13(4), 473 -498. doi:10.1177/026858098013004004. [abstract]
Dutt, B., & Garg, K. C. (2000). An overview of science and technology coverage in Indian English-language dailies. Public Understanding of Science, 9(2), 123 -140. doi:10.1088/0963-6625/9/2/303. [abstract]
Duxbury, L. (2010). A Change in the Climate: New Interpretations and Perceptions of Climate Change through Artistic Interventions and Representations. Weather, Climate, and Society, 2(4), 294-299. doi:10.1175/2010WCAS1053.1. [abstract]
Ereaut, G., & Segnit, N. (2006). Warm Words: How Are We Telling the Climate Story and Can We Tell It Better? London: Institute for Public Policy Research. [abstract]
Foust, C. R., & O’Shannon Murphy, W. (2009). Revealing and Reframing Apocalyptic Tragedy in Global Warming Discourse. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 3(2), 151. doi:10.1080/17524030902916624. [abstract, full text]
Füssel, H. (2009). An updated assessment of the risks from climate change based on research published since the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Climatic Change, 97(3-4), 469-482. doi:10.1007/s10584-009-9648-5. [abstract, full text]
Giannoulis, C., Botetzagias, I., & Skanavis, C. (2010). Newspaper Reporters’ Priorities and Beliefs About Environmental Journalism: An Application of Q-Methodology. Science Communication, 32(4), 425 -466. doi:10.1177/1075547010364927. [abstract]
Gordon, J. C., Deines, T., & Havice, J. (2010). Global Warming Coverage in the Media: Trends in a Mexico City Newspaper. Science Communication, 32(2), 143 -170. doi:10.1177/1075547009340336. [abstract, full text]
Grist, N. (2008). Positioning climate change in sustainable development discourse. Journal of International Development, 20(6), 783-803. doi:10.1002/jid.1496. [abstract]
Grundmann, R. (2006). Ozone and Climate. Science, Technology & Human Values, 31(1), 73 -101. doi:10.1177/0162243905280024. [abstract]
Grundmann, R., & Krishnamurthy, R. (2010). The Discourse of Climate Change: A Corpus-based Approach. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across the Disciplines, 4(2), 125-146. [abstract, full text]
Hamblyn, R. (2009). The whistleblower and the canary: rhetorical constructions of climate change. Journal of Historical Geography, 35(2), 223-236. doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2008.09.006. [abstract]
Henderson-Sellers, A. (1998). Climate Whispers: Media Communication About Climate Change. Climatic Change, 40(3-4), 421-456. [abstract]
Holt, D., & Barkemeyer, R. (2010). Media coverage of sustainable development issues – attention cycles or punctuated equilibrium? Sustainable Development, n/a-n/a. doi:10.1002/sd.460. [abstract, full text]
Hulme, M. (2010). Mapping climate change knowledge: An editorial essay. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1(1), 1-8. doi:10.1002/wcc.3. [abstract]
Ihlen, Ø. (2009). Business and Climate Change: The Climate Response of the World’s 30 Largest Corporations. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 3(2), 244. doi:10.1080/17524030902916632
Ioan, I., Zamfir, A., & Constantin, F. (2009). Oil Companies’ Climate Change Discourse. Case Study: Exxonmobil’s Discourse Analysis. Annals of Faculty of Economics, Annals of Faculty of Economics, 1(1), 337-342.
Kim, K. S.Public understanding of the politics of global warming in the news media: the hostile media approach. Public Understanding of Science. doi:10.1177/0963662510372313
Koteyko, N. (2010). Mining the internet for linguistic and social data: An analysis of ‘carbon compounds’ in Web feeds. Discourse & Society, 21(6), 655 -674. doi:10.1177/0957926510381220
Koteyko, N., Thelwall, M., & Nerlich, B. (2010). From Carbon Markets to Carbon Morality: Creative Compounds as Framing Devices in Online Discourses on Climate Change Mitigation. Science Communication, 32(1), 25 -54. doi:10.1177/1075547009340421
Kuha, M. (2009). Uncertainty about causes and effects of global warming in US news coverage before and after Bali. Language & Ecology, 2(4), 1–18.
Kurz, T., Augoustinos, M., & Crabb, S. (2010). Contesting the ‘national interest’ and maintaining ‘our lifestyle’: A discursive analysis of political rhetoric around climate change. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49(3), 601-625. doi:10.1348/014466609X481173
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