Climate Change and Global Warming in the Media: A Content Analysis of the Mexican Newspaper El Universal
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The amount of coverage the media dedicate to climate change, along with how they frame the issue, can influence audience awareness, perception, and understanding of climate change. These aspects of climate change coverage have varied among countries, and few studies have analyzed coverage by Mexican media. This study analyzed 1047 climate change stories published by the Mexican newspaper El Universal from 2007 and through 2015. Three research questions were addressed: (1) If the amount of climate change coverage in El Universal varied over time, with what events, if any, did these changes appear to be associated? (2) What frames has El Universal used in its stories about climate change? (3) If El Universal attributed information to specific sources, what sources did it identify? Stories analyzed were identified and accessed through the LexisNexis database. Spikes in numbers of stories published were associated with highly visible United Nations climate change conferences. Coverage increases also coincided with climate-related impacts and domestic climate policy events. Correspondingly, the frames most commonly used regarded climate policy and climate-related impacts on Mexico. Frames that focused on raising awareness of climate change also were relatively common, whereas frames focusing on the scientific basis, solutions, and economics of the issue were relatively uncommon. Frames of skepticism, or denial, toward climate science were rarely used. The most commonly identified source of information overall was the government. In stories with frames focusing on the scientific basis for climate change, expert scientists were used extensively. A marked correspondence exists between the frames most and least used in El Universal’s climate change stories and the findings of past research on Mexicans’ understanding of the issue: surveys suggest Mexicans are relatively unaware of aspects such as the scientific basis and solutions for climate change. Media such as El Universal could play key roles in covering climate change in a way that informs the public about these complex but important aspects.
Molar Candanosa, Roberto Marcos (2017). Climate Change and Global Warming in the Media: A Content Analysis of the Mexican Newspaper El Universal. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from