Climate Change on Trial: An Analysis of the Media Coverage of Climategate

By Carol Terracina-Hartman and Tsuyoshi Oshita.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The University of East Anglia email scandal in 2009 sent the science of climate change “to trial”. The hacking of a computer server and theft of thousands of files should have been reported as crime only; the furor that erupted as the files became public placed scientists in the crosshairs of a debate that polarizes communities, countries, and politicians. As the ethics, practice, and communication of scientists were scrutinized, ultimately, the media discourse reflected how public attitudes toward climate change show disagreement over human-caused climate change, with public skepticism growing and public concern dropping in the United States and the United Kingdom. This study is a comparative analysis of the media coverage in the US and the UK, examining the framing of the issue from its very first reporting. Frames are interpretive storylines that set a specific train of thought in motion, communicating why an issue might be a problem, who or what might be responsible for it, and what should be done about it. This study examines how climate change is portrayed in the media, which has a strong link to public perception and public opinion.

Keywords: Climate Change, University of East Anglia, Climategate, Framing, Media

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.119-132. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 583.757KB).

Dr. Carol Terracina-Hartman

Doctoral Researcher, Media and Information Studies Program, Knight Center for Environmental Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Tsuyoshi Oshita

Doctoral Researcher, Advertising, Public Relations & Retailing, Media and Information Studies Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA


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