Cultural Circuits of Climate Change in U.K. Broadsheet Newspapers, 1985-2003

13 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2006  

Anabela Carvalho

University of Minho - Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação

Jacquelin Burgess

University College London - Department of Geography

Abstract

This article argues for a cultural perspective to be brought to bear on studies of climate change risk perception. Developing the "circuit of culture" model, the article maintains that the producers and consumers of media texts are jointly engaged in dynamic, meaning-making activities that are context-specific and that change over time. A critical discourse analysis of climate change based on a database of newspaper reports from three U.K. broadsheet papers over the period 1985-2003 is presented. This empirical study identifies three distinct circuits of climate - change - 1985-1990, 1991-1996, 1997-2003 - which are characterized by different framings of risks associated with climate change. The article concludes that there is evidence of social learning as actors build on their experiences in relation to climate change science and policy making. Two important factors in shaping the U.K.'s broadsheet newspapers' discourse on 'dangerous' climate change emerge as the agency of top political figures and the dominant ideological standpoints in different newspapers.

Suggested Citation

Carvalho, Anabela and Burgess, Jacquelin, Cultural Circuits of Climate Change in U.K. Broadsheet Newspapers, 1985-2003. Risk Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 1457-1469, December 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=943177 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.2005.00692.x

Anabela Carvalho (Contact Author)

University of Minho - Departamento de Ciências da Comunicação ( email )

Campus de Gualtar
4700 Braga
Portugal

Jacquelin Burgess

University College London - Department of Geography ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/directory/request/?submit=Submit&name=Burgess&department=&phone=&internalphone=

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