Research Handbook on Climate Governance
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Research Handbook on Climate Governance

Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand

The 2009 United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen is often represented as a watershed in global climate politics, when the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol failed and was replaced by a fragmented and decentralized climate governance order. In the post-Copenhagen landscape the top-down universal approach to climate governance has gradually given way to a more complex, hybrid and dispersed political landscape involving multiple actors, arenas and sites. The Handbook contains contributions from more than 50 internationally leading scholars and explores the latest trends and theoretical developments of the climate governance scholarship.
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Chapter 28: News media

Alison Anderson


This chapter will survey recent scholarship on the media politics of climate change, outlining key debates and signaling the most promising new directions. Increasingly the media occupy the space where public and policy agendas are shaped and the parameters of debate are formulated. While there is no clear cut relationship between media coverage and public attitudes and action on climate change, studies demonstrate that they play an important role in framing issues. In an increasingly multi-digital, fragmented and interactive media context the very nature of what constitutes news is being redefined. ‘Old’ and ‘new’ media are increasingly intermeshed. Journalists reporting on climate change (at least in North America and Europe) have had to contend with significant cuts backs, tighter deadlines, growing multi-platform demands and a fiercely competitive environment. Evidence suggests that these organizational and economic pressures tend to result in journalists relying more heavily upon wire agencies and press releases from PR companies, government bodies and industry. The chapter will examine the major conceptual and methodological difficulties in researching this complex, dynamic and evolving field. It will conclude by arguing that we need a new toolbox if we are to adequately analyze the impact of socio-political factors on the reporting of climate science.

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