Risk, uncertainty and opportunity in climate change coverage: Australia compared

Lyn McGaurr, Libby Lester, James Painter

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Mediation of climate change is bedevilled by the complexity of com-municating scientific uncertainty. This paper revisits the results of a recent comparative study using frame analysis to investigate newspaper coverage across six countries of scientific reports from the Intergovern-mental Panel on Climate Change and articles about changes in Arctic sea ice. Our paper looks more closely at what these comparative data tell us is distinctive about the mediation of climate science in Australia, namely that the Australian newspapers analysed were most likely to include sceptical voices, least likely to include an opportunity frame and less likely than most to temper uncertainty frames with references to increasing certainty. We discuss these findings in the context of political argument in Australia about the merits or otherwise of trading or taxing greenhouse gas emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

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