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Media on Climate Change: Underreporting, Bias Framing and Narcotizing Dysfunction

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Media on Climate Change: Underreporting, Bias Framing and Narcotizing Dysfunction
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  MEDIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE: UNDERREPORTING, BIAS1Media on Climate Chane: Unde!!e"o!tin, Bia# $!amin and Na!%oti&in D'#()n%tionA*ena Son*i!dBla%+ Hill# State Unie!#it'Ma## Media I##)e#MCOM -./Dee Slee"Ma!%h //, /01.  MEDIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE: UNDERREPORTING, BIAS/To"i%#: Ma## Media I##)e#A*ena Son*i!d2/321.Re#ea!%h Pa"e!  Media Reporting on Climate Change: Underreporting, Bias Framing and Narcotizing DysfunctionIntroduction  Climate %hane !e"o!tin, o! lo*al 4a!min !e"o!tin 5 4hi%h im"lie# h)man %a)#ation, i# %om"le6 at *e#t7 Glo*al 4a!min !e(e!# to the oe!all ea!th8# atmo#"he!e 4a!min d)e to in%!ea#ed !eenho)#e a#e# in the atmo#"he!e #temmin di!e%tl' (!om h)man a%tion# #)%h a# the  *)!nin o( (o##il ()el#7 Chanin %limate %ondition# and e((e%t# !e#)lt (!om thi# 4a!min tem"e!at)!e: "!e%i"itation, 4ind, et%7 oe! man' de%ade# o! lone!7 S%ien%e a!ee# that the Ea!th tem"e!at)!e ha# !i#en *et4een 07- and 079 C oe! the "a#t 100 'ea!#7 The in%!ea#ed ol)me# o( %a!*on dio6ide and othe! !eenho)#e a#e# !elea#ed *' the *)!nin o( (o##il ()el#, land %lea!in, a!i%)lt)!e, and othe! h)man a%tiitie#, a!e *elieed to *e the "!ima!' #o)!%e# o( the lo*al 4a!min that ha# o%%)!!ed oe! the "a#t .0 'ea!#7 ;htt":224447lie#%ien%e7%om2to"i%#2lo*al<4a!min2= In /00. H)!!i%ane >at!ina %!eated the (i!#t million %limate !e()ee#7 A)dien%e #)!e'# then noted (ilm#, #)%h a#  Day After Tomorrow (2004) (ollo4ed *' Al Go!e8# /00? do%)menta!'  *e#t#elle!,  An Inconvenient Truth, %a)#ed an   immediate !e#"on#e and 4illinne## to a%t on !ed)%in%limate %hane7 Pe4 Re#ea!%h S)!e'# #ho4ed that (!om /00? 5 /009, @0  *elieed in %limate %hane7 ;B!aa#%h, /01, "7 ?= /01/ *!o)ht the %ateo!'  #)"e! #to!m: H)!!i%ane Sand', 4hi%h dea#tated %oa#tal home# in  Ne4 o!+, and Ne4 e!#e', 4ith o%ean 4ate!# (loodin the %it'7  MEDIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE: UNDERREPORTING, BIAS /01- 4a# the hotte#t 'ea! on !e%o!d #in%e 1990 in the %ontinental United State#7 10 o( the 4a!me#t 'ea!# hae o%%)!!ed #in%e /0007 ;NASA   htt":224447na#a7o2"!e##2/01.2an)a!'2na#a<dete!mine#</01-<4a!me#t<'ea!<in<mode!n<!e%o!d27FRl!n$'#= See!e heat and d!o)ht "a!%hed ?0 "e!%ent o( %o)nt!'8# (a!mland# d!iin )" (ood "!i%e# t!i"le diit# #ea!ed a%!o## the Mid4e#t Plain# A!%ti% #ea i%e and the "ola! i%e %a"# a!e meltin (a#te! than #%ienti#t# "!edi%ted, indieno)# )"i+    %omm)nitie# hae had to !elo%ate 4hole illae# d)e to !i#in #ea 4ate!#, 4ild(i!e# !an !am"ant in Ne4 Me6i%o, Colo!ado, to!%hin the Je#t7 Pe4 #)!e'# o( Noem*e! la#t 'ea! !e"o!ted that tho)h -9 "e!%ent o( Ame!i%an# !ated lo*al %limate %hane a# a mao! th!eat, 'et it 4a# le## than thei! %on%e!n# a*o)t the I#lami% State militant !o)" ;?@=, I!an8# n)%lea! "!o!am ;.3= and No!th >o!ea8# n)%lea! "!o!am7 ;.@= ;Ri%e, 1/2/2/ "7 1= A landma!+ #t)d' *' the Bo'+o(( B!othe!#, one an eni!onmental eo!a"he! and the othe! a  "oliti%al #%ienti#t, !eealed that lo*al 4a!min 4a# an ala!min #"e%ie#<th!eatenin "henomenon, and that ne4# !e"o!tin a%!o## the *oa!d on thi# i##)e 4a# not onl' Ko)t o( #'n% 4ith #%ienti#t#,  *)t 4ea+, mo#tl' *ad %oe!ae, and )nde!!e"o!ted7 ;Fiian, /01, "7 139<133= iterature Re!ie"  So 4h' i# it 4e %an *ea! 4itne## to the #)!io!# o( e6t!eme 4eathe! eent#, the in%!ea#ed e6tin%tion o( m)lti"le #"e%ie#,5 'et thi# #)*e%t o( #)%h lo*al manit)de 5 i# !eeted 4ith *lan+ #ta!e#, #talled a%tion, een a oi%e 5 *oth in !e"o!tin and (!om the mao!it' o( %iti&en# ;Bo'%e Le4i#, /003, "7 iii= Pa)l La&a!#(eld deelo"ed the idea o( the na!%oti&in d'#()n%tion to e6"lain the ")*li%# in%!ea#in a"ath' o! ine!tia 4hen *om*a!ded 4ith mo!e and mo!e in(o!mation 5 Kna!%oti&in  MEDIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE: UNDERREPORTING, BIAS-the ae!ae !eade! o! li#tene! a# a !e#)lt o( the (lood o( media #tim)li7 Thi# K%o)%h "otato d'nami% %o)ld *e #aid to de#%!i*e ho4 the ")*li% deal# 4ith a *a!!ae o( mo#tl' ala!min imae#, ina%%)!a%ie#, denial# and !e)!itated #tati#ti%# that a!e ien in ne4# !e"o!tin on %limate %hane7 Jith #o%ial media addin mo!e oi%e# to the (!a', ne4 ene!ation# a!e %on()#in +no4in 4ith a%t)all' doin #omethin a*o)t it 7;Do!nan, Ma!%h //, /01/, "7 1= Gall)" Poll #t)die# anal'#t, R'le' D)nlo" in a Ma!%h /01- #t)d', #tated that the ")*li% !e#"onded to *oth te!m# #imila!l' 54ith ?0 "e!%ent 4o!!'in a*o)t %limate %hane and .? "e!%ent 4o!!'in a*o)t lo*al 4a!min7 The te!minolo' "la'# o)t m)%h di((e!entl', "ola!i&in in the  "oliti%al a!ena7 Re")*li%an# a!e m)%h mo!e #+e"ti%al than Mode!ate# and Demo%!at#, and a!e le## %on%e!ned a*o)t eithe!7 ;D)nla", A"!il //, /01-, "7 9= Thi# "ola!i&ation ha# *een lin+ed to a tenden%' to )m" on 4hat ha# *een %alled Ka %on%ent!ated, hihl' o!ani&ed, 4ell<()nded and  "!o(e##ional (o##il ()el ind)#t!' PR %am"ain in o"e!ation, aimin to %a#t do)*t on the #%ien%e o( %limate %hane and the!e*' "!eent an' a%tion on the i##)e7 ;Bo'%e  Le4i#, /003, "7 3-= O)! Ma## Media te6t*oo+ #a'# that o)!nali#t# a!e Kt!a""ed in thei! attem"t# (o! *alan%ed !e"o!tin on the i##)e, iin oi%e to *ia# #o)!%e# lined )" *' *i ene!' %om"anie# hae )nde!!e"o!ted on lo*al 4a!min, #en#ationali&ed !e"o!tin, o! hae lo#t it to %om"etin %oe!ae  *' 4a!#, ele%tion#, "oli%' de*ate# on health %a!e and ed)%ation7 ;Fiian, /01, "7 139<133= Thi# t'"e o( (!amin i# e%hoed in a /01 Ne4#4ee+ !atin# #t)d' o( th!ee mao! %a*le ne4# net4o!+# and thei! %limate %hane %oe!ae7 CNN, MSNBC and $o6 Ne4# 4e!e the th!ee #t)died:d!a4in a mo!e %ent!i#t, mo!e li*e!al and %on#e!atie a)dien%e !e#"e%tiel'7 Tho)h %on#en#)# o( the inte!national %omm)nit' i# that %limate %hane i# !eal, thi# ha# *een hotl' %onte#ted *' the#e ne4# net4o!+# 4ho hae ien oi%e to to" *ia# #o)!%e# 5 "oliti%all' motiated *' Re")*li%an Re"o!t and Bi Oil %om"anie#7 The #t)d' !eealed that %on#)me!# a!e demandin ee! mo!e  MEDIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE: UNDERREPORTING, BIAS.na!!o4%a#t %oe!ae 5 !e"o!tin that mat%he# thei! *ia#e#7 A !o)", Union of Concerned Scientists , t!ied to a##e## the#e net4o!+8# a%%)!a%' in !e"o!tin %limate %hane and (o)nd that $o68# .0 #ement# 4e!e a%%)!ate /9 "e!%ent o( the time CNN8# - #ement# 4e!e a%%)!ate @0  "e!%ent o( the time, and MSNBC8# 1/ #ement# 4e!e a%%)!ate 3/ "e!%ent o( the time7 Some oe!#tated the e((e%t# o( %limate %hane and #"e%i(i% t'"e# o( e6t!eme 4eathe!, #)%h a# to!nadoe#, and #ome denied in(o!mation a# the a*oe mentioned (o##il ()el ind)#t!'8# PR #t!ate' o( mi#in(o!mation #imila! to Bi To*a%%o anti<#mo+in initiatie# 4ith denial# o( the addi%tie  "!o"e!tie# o( %ia!ette# o( the "a#t7 ;Be+iem"i#, )l' /?, /01-, "7 /= The mi#in(o!mation ien *' "oliti%al and e#ted inte!e#t# ha# %!eated do)*t in the ")*li% %on%e!n on the i##)e7 In (a%t, a(te! the O*ama admini#t!ation !elea#ed it# National Climate A##e##ment in Ma' /01-, 4ith 4a!nin# o( in%!ea#ed 4eathe! e6t!eme# *e%a)#e o( lo*al 4a!min, all th!ee ne4# o)tlet# %oe!ed it e6ten#iel'7 Ho4ee! in#tead o( ood anal'#i#, di#%)##ion, and a%%)!ate ne4# %oe!ae 5 it 4a# mo#tl' a #taed de*ate *et4een a %on#e!atie thin+ tan+ ;He!itae $o)ndation= 4ell<+no4n (o! #+e"ti%i#m a*o)t %limate %hane and Bill N'e theS%ien%e G)'7 $o!me! #enio! "!od)%e! at CNN, Che& Pa&ien&a, #aid that thi# t'"e o( #+e"ti%i#m<ena*lin de*ate a*o)t %limate %hane i# "a!t o( the %a*le ne4# %)lt)!e 5 theat!i%# !ein )" %on(li%t 4he!e i# doe#n8t e6i#t7KThe!e8# thi# attit)de that the!e i# no !eal t!)th: The!e8# t4o #ide# to ee!' #to!'78 Een i( 39 "e!%ent o( #%ienti#t# #a', Climate %hane i# a*#ol)tel' !eal8 %a*le ne4# 4ill not "!e#entit that 4a', Pa&ien&a #a'#7 KThe'8ll #a', Let8# *!in on a )' 4ho denie# %limate %hane7That ma+e# (o! ood TF de*ate7 ;Be+iem"i#, )l' /?, /01-, "7 =
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