Climate Change in Four News Magazines: 1989-2009

William Tillinghast 1 *, Marie McCann 1

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This longitudinal study examined how four news magazines, The Economist from Great Britain, Mclean’s of Canada, and two American publications, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, portrayed climate change during six separate years, four years apart, a 20-year-period (1989-2009), focusing on what frames were used, did they change over time, and were their differences by publication. Major findings are that the publications did not differ from each other, but all four eventually eliminated the term “greenhouse effect” in favor of climate change to go along with global warming. The magazines also changed from their initial episodic, or isolated theme-oriented story structure to a broader, and more connected, thematic form. The dominant frame throughout the 20 years was political. The scientific frame diminished over time and the ecological-meteorological virtually disappeared.


climate change longitudinal study framing newspapers


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 22-48

Published Online: 24 Jan 2013

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