CLIMATE CHANGE AND IDEOLOGY - Are climate change narratives affected by ideology?

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Author: Erik Runge; [2021-10-13]

Keywords: Climate Change; Narratives; editorial; media; ideology;

Abstract: Media's framing can arguably affect how media consumers view causes, consequences, and solutions of different social issues such as climate change. Likewise, newspaper editorials have different ideas and approaches to climate change, which may be influenced by their ideological positions. This study aims to research if climate change narratives differ between editorials with different ideological tendencies. To achieve this, three Swedish newspapers where studied: Aftonbladet (“unattached social democratic”), Svenska Dagbladet (“unattached conservative”) and Dagens Nyheter (“unattached liberal”). A qualitative content analysis was performed on editorials in 2018 and 2019 containing the word “klimatförändring'” (a truncation of the phrase “climate change”). The material was analyzed using a theoretical framework described by Norton and Hulme (2019) containing four different climate change narratives, Lukewarmer, Ecoactivist, Smart Growth Reformer and Ecomodernist. The following questions were posed in the study: Can the four narratives be found in Swedish editorials? Have the narratives of the individual newspapers changed during the chosen time period? Do these newspaper editorials express different climate change narratives depending on their ideology? The narratives can be found in the analyzed newspapers, however no major changes were discernable over the time periods. The type of narratives found in the editorials seem to correspond to its expressed ideological views.

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