Kjersti Skaaraaen Herberg fra Gjøvik videregående skole vant førsteprisen i Ungdomskonkurransen Fritt Ord 2010 med bidraget «Climate Change Coverage in British Newspapers». Vox Publica presenterer her det konkluderende avsnittet i Herbergs arbeid. Du kan også laste ned bidraget i sin helhet (pdf).
The conclusion is that although there are some significant differences, The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph deal with the issue global climate change rather similarly, and that both are rather sceptical.
The Telegraph’s coverage seems more sceptical towards the existence of climate change than the Mail’s, although it is the case for both that the proportion of sceptical articles is larger than the proportion of scientists that are so. This must be seen in connection both with target group and political allegiance. The Telegraph has an enquiring approach, supposedly because that is the way it wishes to sell itself. The Mail’s tendency to exaggerate may also partly be explained with the newspaper’s general journalism.
Both newspapers take the individual British citizen’s point of view in matters like tax increases, because this is coherent with the reader’s opinions and interests. However, this is to a greater extent the case in the Mail than in the Telegraph, possibly due to different target groups and newspaper categories. Another significant observation is that especially the Mail focuses largely on celebrities, presumably due to news values, the newspaper category and, to a certain extent, cultural aspects.
These findings have been shown likely to be the result of conscious journalism and intentional editorial decisions. Since the essay only considers two newspapers over a limited time-period, generalizing the findings to apply to all conservative broadsheet and tabloid newspapers is inappropriate. Nevertheless, the investigation serves as an indicator of British newspapers’ coverage of climate change.