Ottawa, Aug 25 (Canadian-Media): The global issue of climate change is being covered intensely by media organizations worldwide, yet how the news media frame it varies from area to area, according to new research published in Global Environmental Change.
This study investigated the news coverage of climate change of 45 different countries and territories based on all relevant characteristics, represented by 84 different media outlets using the news framing approach.
Severn key frames, most often found in media representations of climate change across the globe, were outlined to determine how climate issues are presented and interpreted and and how these further influences discussions, policy, and action in determining what issues get more attention and what receive less.
The study also pointed out that apart from culture or geography, economics and politics also contribute to climate change and clarifies how the variation of news coverage is related to each country’s economic development, climate severity, and governance.
Over 23 million words within articles for keywords and phrases attributed to a particular frame were scanned by a tailored computer algorithm with more than 37,000 pieces published between 2011 and 2015 included in the analysis.
With an aim capture local contexts, the researchers studied articles published in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.
This is the largest study to date and also the first study looking at a diversity of factors including vulnerability, emission levels, government action, and press freedom in media analysis of climate coverage.
The most common frame among countries covered by the study was international relations focussing on global action to address climate change and how nations interact in trying to address issues like responsibility, justice, and commonly agreed targets.
Economic impacts of climate change was another widely shared frame used by the researchers suggesting GDP per capita as the strongest predictor of how climate action is portrayed within a country.
It was also revealed that richer countries emphasized climate science and regulations, poorer and vulnerable countries focus on damage and loss attributed to climate change, while countries with high carbon footprints are also often focused on their energy use.
The least popular frame was found to be the social progress in addressing climate change, insufficient action on climate, apocalyptic narratives and other negative associations with the issue.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)