A new study has found that the majority of news articles about climate change are centred on narratives about disaster and uncertainty.
According to the research, from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, this has led to the general public finding climate science difficult to understand.
The researchers found a “disaster narrative” in 82% of the articles analysed, and a similar proportion about uncertainty. However, only 26% of articles explained the “explicit risks” of different policy options.
The articles in the sample analysed covered the first two reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of 2007; the IPCC report on weather extremes in 2012; and the recent melt of Arctic sea ice.
Articles coded as having a “disaster or implicit risk” narrative were about sea level rises, more floods, water or food shortages, or population displacement. In the case of Arctic sea ice melt, this also included negative effects on the ocean ecosystem and nations living on the Arctic rim, or the heightened possibility of cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere.
James Painter, lead author of the report, said, “There is plenty of evidence showing that in many countries, the general public finds scientific uncertainty difficult to understand and confuse it with ignorance. We also know that disaster messages can be a turnoff, so for some people risk may be a more helpful language to use in this debate.
“Journalists are generally attracted to gloom and doom stories, but they are going to become more exposed to the language and concept of risks in covering climate science in the coming years.”
The research found that journalists often followed the prompts given by scientists and their reports. Around 70% of the articles covering reports by the IPCC, and nearly 60% of all articles in the sample, included quotes from scientist or scientific reports that researchers coded as “disaster narratives”. Nearly half the articles included a quote indicating some aspect of uncertainty.
The study concluded that advances in climate modelling and attribution are likely to lead to ‘more helpful’ language of explicit risk being increasingly used by journalists in the future.
Some 350 articles about climate change that were published between 2007 and 2012 were analysed. The sample covered three newspaper titles in six countries (UK, France, Australia, India, Norway and the USA).
Like our Facebook Page
Key Things to Remember When Building a Sustainable Home
4 Tips to Achieve Eco-friendly Business Operations
Are Vegan Shoes A Sustainable Option?
How to Be More Eco-Conscious In Your Everyday Life
Tips To Become More Sustainable At Home
Modern Log Cabins: Sustainability and Aesthetics
The Basics of Starting a Eco-Friendly DIY Project
Importance of Shore Hardness for Sustainable Hobbyists
Green Healthcare Practice Patient Data Compliance Guidelines
Guidance on Trading Bitcoin as an Eco-Friendly Investor
Why Making Your Business Sustainable Is More Important Than Ever
The Most Popular Environment-Friendly Flooring Options
Investing in the Ethical and Eco-friendly Has Never Been Easier
A Guide Transitioning to Safer and Environmentally-Friendly Chemicals
Role of HR in Sustainable Businesses
The Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Replacing Fiat Currencies
Tips To Make Air Conditioning Eco-Friendly
9 Zero Waste Gift Ideas For An Eco-Friendly 2021 Holiday
5 Reasons For Your Business To Go Green (Beyond Helping The Planet)
Tips After Buying an Electric Scooter to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
Features10 months ago
Seven Health and Safety Tips for Eco-Friendly Products in a Green Home
Energy10 months ago
Eco-Friendly Homeowners Lower Carbon Footprints through Greater Air Conditioner Efficiency
Features9 months ago
Essential Guidelines for Eco-friendly Moving into new Home
Invest12 months ago
The Eco-Friendly Evolution of Bitcoin Over the Years