Transnational Communication about Climate Change: Characteristics and Challenges of Climate Change Communication
September 19, 2012
12:00PM - 01:30PM
Annenberg School for Communication, Room 500
3620 Walnut Street
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Man-made climate change is widely seen as one of the main problems for the future of contemporary societies. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, rising temperatures will result in melting glaciers and rising sea levels, threaten ecosystems and biodiversity, and lead to more frequent extreme weather events; coastal erosion and floods might endanger human life; desertification and water scarcity could trigger climate-related migration and intensify regional conflicts.
The media are crucial agents in the production of the meaning of “climate change”, indicating the importance of the phenomenon and providing information about it. Accordingly, numerous studies from communications and related fields have analyzed media communication about climate change in past years.
In this presentation, Mike S. Schaefer will highlight results from these studies as well as research desiderata, pointing out open questions regarding credibility of science communication, regarding climate communication in online and social media environments, and regarding the analysis of
international communication about climate change. Dr. Schaefer will then elaborate on the latter of these open questions: After describing the transnational character of climate change, he will present results from ongoing research which compares media representations of climate change from different countries around the world. Drawing from theoretical discussions about an emerging transnational
public sphere, he will present a heuristic model of such a public sphere and apply it empirically on a large corpus of print media coverage.