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Media coverage of climate change: an international comparison

Barkemeyer, R., Figge, F., Hoepner, A., Holt, D., Kraak, J. M. and Yu, P. S. (2017) Media coverage of climate change: an international comparison. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 35 (6). pp. 1029-1054. ISSN 2399-6544

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0263774X16680818


We present an international comparison of broadsheet newspaper coverage of climate change. We employ two complementary theoretical lenses, multiple streams theory and institutional theory, to explore why climate change has become headline news in some countries but has received comparatively little coverage in others. The study utilises a worldwide sample across 41 different countries for the year 2008, covering 113 leading national broadsheet newspapers. A cross-sectional regression model is used to identify whether and how a range of contextual factors impact coverage of climate change. To a certain extent, a country’s direct exposure to climate change and the measures that have been taken to combat global warming influence the position of climate change on the media agenda. Crucially, however, we identify a number of contextual factors that impact climate change-related media coverage in different national contexts. In particular, we find a significantly positive relationship between regulatory quality and levels of media coverage. At the same time, unemployment trends are significantly negatively related to media attention to climate change. Gross domestic product per capita does not help to explain levels of climate change-related media coverage. In other words, climate change appears to have moved beyond simply being a ‘rich country issue’.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > ICMA Centre
ID Code:73358


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