Comparing Climate Change Coverage in Canadian English and French-Language Print Media: Environmental Values, Media Cultures, and the Narration of Global Warming

Nathan Young, Eric Dugas

Abstract


This article compares how climate change is presented in English- and French-language print media in Canada. In recent years, climate change has become an increasingly divisive issue, with the media playing a central role in the promotion of competing claims and narratives in the public sphere. Using concepts from environmental sociology and the sociology of journalism, we examine content from six English- and two French-language newspapers from 2007-2008 (N=2,245), and find significant evidence of both convergence and divergence across the language divide. Among the most significant findings are differences in how complexity is handled: English outlets present diverse coverage that is highly compartmentalized, while the French newspapers present a narrower range of coverage but with thematically richer articles that better link climate change issues to the realms of culture, politics, and economy.

Keywords


Climate change, media, English, French, communication, complexity

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