Reply To: Global warming a tough issue for the media


From Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism:

A new RISJ study of international media has analysed the marked differences between countries in the coverage given to the UN’s Copenhagen summit on climate change in 2009. It finds that of the 12 countries studied, Brazil and India provided the most coverage, followed by Australia and the UK. Meanwhile, Nigeria, Russia and Egypt gave the summit the least space in its newspapers.

In “Summoned by Science Reporting Climate Change at Copenhagen and Beyond”,  researchers analysed more than 400 articles published in the print media in 12 countries from the developed and developing world. They found that the media in all the countries tended to ‘under-report’ climate science during the summit. Articles written principally about the science of climate change represented less than a tenth of all the coverage surveyed. Nearly 80 per cent of the articles mentioned the science in less than 10 per cent of their column space.

The study also surveyed over 50 environmental journalists and scientists across the 12 target countries post-Copenhagen asking them how climate change science might be best communicated. The recommendations include:

  • More (re-)engagement by climate scientists with journalists to explain where there is scientific consensus and where there is not

  • More dedicated climate change press officers at universities and research centres

  • More media personnel at the IPCC

  • More imaginative use of new media

  • Less adversarial coverage of climate science, but more frontline reporting on what people are experiencing and what they are doing about it.

    Marked differences between countries in reporting of climate change