Australian media coverage of two pivotal climate change summits: A comparative study between COP15 and COP21
From an international perspective Australia’s ‘climate change wars’ can be challenging to grasp (Chubb, 2014). Part of the explanation to the protracted divisions on meaningful action on climate change can be found in media coverage of the issue. This makes Australia an interesting case study from an international and journalism studies perspective.This article compares the coverage in two major Australian newspapers of the two pivotal climate change summits in Copenhagen in 2009 and in Paris 2015. The primary research question was: in what way, if any, has the reporting of two major international climate change meetings in The Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph changed over time? The project used a mixed methods approach drawing on longitudinal content analysis data and interviews conducted with senior Australian journalists. The approach generated rich data allowing for a discussion using the ‘wicked policy problem’ framework (Head & Alford, 2013).
Asayama, S., Lidberg, J., Cloteau, A., Comby, J. B., & Chubb, P. (2017). Who captures the Voice of the Climate? Policy Networks and the Political Role of Media in Australia, France and Japan. In Eide, E., Kunelius, R., Tegelberg, M., & Yagodin, D. (Eds.), Media and Global Climate Knowledge—Journalism and the IPCC. (pp. 171-193). New York, NY: Palgrave McMillan.
Bacon, W. (2011). A sceptical climate: Media coverage of climate change in Australia. part 1—Climate change policy. Sydney, NSW: Australian Centre for Independent Journalism.
Boykoff, M. (2011). Who speaks for the climate? Making sense of media reporting on climate change. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Boykoff, M., & Boykoff, J. (2004). Balance as bias: Global warming and the US prestige press. Global Environmental Change, 14: 125-136.
Chubb, P. (2012). Really, fundamentally wrong: Media coverage of the business campaign against the Australian carbon tax. In Eide, E., & Kunelius, R. (Eds.), Media meets climate—The global challenge for journalism. (pp. 179-194). Gothenburg, Sweden: Nordicom.
Chubb, P. (2014). Power failure: The inside story of climate politics under Rudd and Gillard. Melbourne: Black Inc.
Chubb, P. and Bacon, W. (2010). Australia: Fiery politics and extreme events. In Eide, E., Kunelius, R., & Kumpu, V. (Eds.), Global Climate, local journalisms—A transnational study of how media make sense of climate summits (pp. 51-65). Bochum/Freiberg, Germany: Projekt Verlag.
Cohen, J. (2006). The green house mafia. Four Corners. [Television report, 55min]. Sydney, NSW: Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Compston, H. (2009). Networks, resources, political strategy and climate policy. Environmental Politics, 18(5), 727-746.
Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2013). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Eide, E., Kunelius, R. (Eds.) (2012). Media meets climate—The global challenge for journalism. Gothenburg, Sweden: Nordicom.
Eide, E., Kunelius, R. and Kumpu, V. (Eds.). (2010). Global Climate—local journalisms—a transnational study of how media make sense of climate summits. Global Journalism Research Series. Bochum/Freiburg: Projekt Verlag.
Hackett, R., Forde, S., Foxwell-Norton, K., & Gunster, S. (2017). Journalism and climate crisis: Public engagement, media alternatives. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Hansen, J. (2009). The storms of my grandchildren, Bloomsbury.
Head, B., & Alford, J. (2013). Wicked problems: Implications for public policy and management. Administration & Society 20(10), 1-29.
Hulme, M. (2009). Why we disagree about climate change. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Kelly, S. (2017). The great climate charade. The Monthly. Melbourne, VIC: Schwartz Media.
Kunelius, R., Eide, E., Tegelberg, M. & Yagodin, D. (Eds.) (2017). Media and global climate knowledge— journalism and the IPCC. New York, NY: Palgrave McMillan.
Lester, L., & Hutchins, B. (Eds.) (2013). Environmental conflict and the media. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
McKnight, D. (2012). Rupert Murdoch—An investigation of political power. Sydney, NSW: Allen and Unwin.
MediaClimate. (2017). MEDIACLIMATE—a transnational research network. Retrieved from https://mediaclimate.net/.
Neuman L. (2013). Social research methods—Qualitative and quantitative approaches, Sydney, NSW: Allyn and Bacon.
Oliver, A. (2017). Majority of Australians say climate change a critical threat to Australia's vital interests. Lowy Institute. Retrieved from http://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/majority-australians-believe-global-warming-serious-problem.
Oreskes, N., & Conway, E. (2010). Merchants of doubt. Bloomsbury Press.
Reporter A. (2016). COP21. Interview, 2 February.
Reporter B. (2016). COP21. Interview, 29 January.
Reporter C. (2016). COP21. Interview, 9 February.
Reporter D. (2016). COP21. Interview, 29 January.
Reporter E. (2016). COP21. Interview, 22 January.
UNFCC. (2017). United Nations framework convention on climate change. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/2860.php
Ward, M. (2016). The Australian's circulation now double that of rival AFR as Fairfax struggles with digital subscriptions. Mumbrella. Retrieved from https://mumbrella.com.au/abcs-newspapers-march-2016-australian-afr-fairfax-news-366400
Copyright (c) 2018 Johan Lidberg
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.