A (non) agenda setting study: News coverage of electric vehicles and their popularity in Aotearoa New Zealand

Keywords: climate change, electric car, EV, media framing, newspapers, New Zealand


This article explores the news media framing of electric vehicles (EVs) in New Zealand and theorises the role it may have played in the uptake of EVs in the country. The results were unexpected; the positive valence of EVs, battery life, carbon emissions, the environment, range, public or personal costs, positive public opinion, positive evaluative language, and battery reusage were not emphasised at all in coverage. Despite the lacklustre media coverage of EVs in New Zealand, the sales of EVs went up. This disconnect between previous research detailing the importance of positive media framing and subsequent behaviour has implications for further research examining media effects. 


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Author Biographies

Linda-Jean Kenix, University of Canterbury


Linda Jean Kenix is Head of the School of Language, Social, and Political Sciences and Professor at the University of Canterbury, which houses 7 distinct programmes. She has published 2 books, approximately 50 journal articles and 8 book chapters examining the visual and textual media representation of marginalized groups, the reasons for, and the consequences of that representation. Linda Jean has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University, the University of Cambridge, Monash University and the University of Valencia.



Jorge Bolanos, Universidad ECOTEC, Ecuador

Jorge Bolanos Lopez was awarded his PhD by the University of Canterbury. His research interests include media discourse, journalism ethics and practices in the reporting of political and human affairs. Jorge has published several articles on media discourse and journalism practices. He's also been a lecturer of communication and film studies at universities in Ecuador and New Zealand.


- Universidad ECOTEC. Address: Km 13.5 Samborondón, Samborondón, EC092302, Ecuador

- University of Canterbury. Address: 20 Kirkwood Avenue, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041



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How to Cite
Kenix, L.-J., & Bolanos, J. (2024). A (non) agenda setting study: News coverage of electric vehicles and their popularity in Aotearoa New Zealand. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 30(1and2), 111-125. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v30i1and2.1301