A Comparative Analysis of German and Australian Climate Change Coverage in Quality Newspapers : Framing a political election and an environmental disaster

Birkenfeld, Lena

In 2010, Germany and Australia had to deal with extreme floods. Was climate change considered as cause of these weather events in the media? In 2009, a conservative alliance committed to tackle climate change won the German election. In 2007, the Australian Labor Party claimed that “climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time” and won the election. But how was climate change covered by the media in the context of these two elections? This work answers these two questions comparing the climate change coverage of two German and two Australian quality newspapers (n = 1.012 articles). As theoretical foundation Entman’s (1993) framing approach and the “Extended Sphere Model”, which provides a framework for the explanation of the differences in the coverage, were applied. With a hierarchical cluster analysis seven frames were identified. Moreover, six actor groups were differentiated and possible influencing factors were compiled. The results show that the differences in terms of climate change coverage in quality newspapers are rather low between the two countries. Some of the observed differences could be explained by the proposed model. But the most striking results are certainly the similarities in the coverage. Common media standards in terms of climate change coverage could, however, not be identified in this work.

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Birkenfeld, L., 2020. Comparative Analysis of German and Australian Climate Change Coverage in Quality Newspapers: Framing a political election and an environmental disaster. NEU - Nachhaltigkeits‐, Energie‐ und Umweltkommunikation, NEU - Nachhaltigkeits‐, Energie‐ und Umweltkommunikation. <Ilmenau>|Universitätsverlag Ilmenau, Ilmenau. https://doi.org/10.22032/dbt.43076
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