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Mapping the minds of the mediators: The cognitive frames of climate journalists in five countries


Engesser, Sven; Brüggemann, Michael (2016). Mapping the minds of the mediators: The cognitive frames of climate journalists in five countries. Public Understanding of Science, 25(7):825-841.

Abstract

This article is based on the premise that journalists play an important role as mediators of scientific information and their interpretations of climate change influence media debates and public opinion. The study maps the minds of climate journalists from five different countries (Germany, India, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and different types of leading media outlets. It identifies five cognitive frames that vary between attributing the responsibility for climate change to lobbying and national interests, blaming consumerist culture and the capitalist system, and expressing technological optimism. The study provides evidence for the emergence of a sustainability frame, indicates a “blame game” between industrialized countries and emerging economies, and shows the demand for a global ecological discourse. Finally, it explores how individual factors such as specialization, professional aims, and political alignment correlate with the cognitive frames of journalists.

Abstract

This article is based on the premise that journalists play an important role as mediators of scientific information and their interpretations of climate change influence media debates and public opinion. The study maps the minds of climate journalists from five different countries (Germany, India, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and different types of leading media outlets. It identifies five cognitive frames that vary between attributing the responsibility for climate change to lobbying and national interests, blaming consumerist culture and the capitalist system, and expressing technological optimism. The study provides evidence for the emergence of a sustainability frame, indicates a “blame game” between industrialized countries and emerging economies, and shows the demand for a global ecological discourse. Finally, it explores how individual factors such as specialization, professional aims, and political alignment correlate with the cognitive frames of journalists.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:17 Dec 2015 15:12
Last Modified:24 Sep 2016 01:00
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0963-6625
Funders:Universität Zürich
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662515583621

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