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Comparing Coverage of Climate Change Across the Global North and South

by Valerie Hase & Daniela Mahl

India and Thailand are among the countries affected most by climate change. Still, we know little about how news media in these nations cover climate change. In a recent study, we wanted to change that and asked: How and how much do countries from the Global North and South cover climate change?

To do so, we tracked how new media in ten countries covered climate change over time (2006–2018). As the graph below shows, we found that countries from the Global North cover climate change far more frequently.

Surprisingly, however, countries from the Global South focus more on impact on humans, i.e., how climate change affects humans and their daily lives. Countries such as India or Thailand for instance frequently report on rising sea levels threatening citizens’ homes or the spread of diseases through climate change – in a sense, making climate change more tangible.


For us, a main take-away was that countries from the Global South may be better at communicating how climate change affects us all (our health, our way of living, our planet) instead of focusing on climate politics or climate science, as is often done in the Global North.


Link to study >>

Hase, V., Mahl, D., Schäfer, M.S., & Keller, T. (2021): Climate Change in News Media across the Globe: An Automated Analysis of Issue Attention and Themes in Climate Change Coverage in 10 Countries (2006-2018). Global Environmental Change, 70, 102353. Online first publication. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102353

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