Media Coverage of Climate Change

Current Trends, Strengths, Weaknesses

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Boykoff, Maxwell T.; Roberts, Timmons J.

This background paper provides a comprehensive survey of the role of the media in informing and communicating climate change. This paper looks at how media coverage has shaped discourse and action – in complex, dynamic and non-linear ways – at the interface of climate science and policy. Moreover, this work explores influences of media on practices, politics and public opinion and understanding related to climate change. Research on these interactions are delineated through work that has been undertaken in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Honduras, Mozambique, Jamaica, Sri Lanka and Zambia, and explorations of newspaper coverage in forty English-language newspapers in seventeen countries, across five continents. Through these examinations of media coverage of climate change, links are made to related work on public perception and the relationship to international assistance.