Searching for climate change consensus in broadsheet newspapers. Editorial policy and public opinion
Climate change
Scientific and social consensus
Political Communication
Editorial values
Issue Date: 
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Blanco-Castilla, E. (Elena); Teruel-Rodríguez, L. (Laura); Martín-Molina, V. (Víctor). "Searching for climate change consensus in broadsheet newspapers. Editorial policy and public opinion". Communication & Society. 31 (3), 2018, 331 - 346
The premise behind this paper is that, in order to reach social consensus on climate change, there must be consensus on the media first. This research study focuses on the search for consensus values in the editorial discourses of five proven influential broadsheet newspapers in their context and internationally, such as The Guardian, Le Monde, El País, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The New York Times. These newspapers have published 535 opinion editorials on climate change over a 14-year period: from the Kyoto Summit in 1997 to the Durban Climate Change Conference in 2011. The methodology involves both frames and quantitative analyses. This research aims to detect the main actors and factors that influence editorial discourse, as politics and economic sources are most likely to be predominant (H1), and draw lines of possible consensus among the different media analysed (H2). The analysis shows how the political and economic connotations in editorial discourses were sometimes to the detriment of scientific and expert discourse, and the differences among countries. However, the research also underscores essential positions in common, such as the acceptance of climate change and its anthropogenic origin, or the criticism of the states’ inability to reach joint solutions to the problem.

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