Framing Science: Climate Change in the Mainstream and Alternative News of New Zealand
The public learns about climate change through the media. While mainstream media have been found to inadequately report on this issue in the United States, little research has examined how alternative media frame climate change, or how the mainstream press in other countries, are dealing with this important issue. In 2007, Professor Tim O’Riordan, the British Sustainability Commissioner and an advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gave a public speech arguing that climate change must be framed not as a sacrifice or a penalty but as an opportunity to benefit the future. Shortly after, Dr. Michael Nisbet and Chris Mooney wrote a much discussed article in Science that argued scientists must de-emphasize the ‘facts’ and focus more on ‘morality’ if important scientific problems are going to have any hope of abating. If such moralistic frames are to be found in the press, one might expect to see their presence initially in alternative outlets or in the mainstream press of countries that have a more receptive policy toward combating climate change. This research examines how Scoop, an independent news website based in New Zealand, and The New Zealand Herald, the most popular mainstream newspaper in New Zealand, framed the issue of climate change.
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