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Up and Down with Climate Change in the Media

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Climate change, perhaps the most important issue of our times for sustainable development, has for several years played a central role in Swedish news media.

However, along with the alleged failure of the Copenhagen summit, "ClimateGate" and cold winters, the climate issue seems to have lost some of its newsworthiness. This reduction in the climate coverage risks resulting in the public notion that the climate problem does no longer exist.

Research has shown that public attention to environmental issues tends to go up and down in a cyclic manner, and it is vital to examine not only the "up" of a specific environmental issue, which has been done in the project "From Risk to Threat: Social Representations of Climate Change in the Media and among Citizens", but also the "down" and its implications.

The current project, which starts in 2012, thus studies the "post-Copenhagen" phase and compares it with the "pre-Copenhagen" phase as regards the ways in which climate change is constructed in the news media.

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) constitutes the theoretical framework and the project consists of both quantitative and qualitative text analyses of the climate reporting.