James Painter is a Research Associate at the Reuters Institute. He first came to the RISJ as the BBC Journalist Fellow in 2006 and was subsequently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute. During that time he wrote the RISJ Challenge, Counter-Hegemonic News: A Case Study of Al-Jazeera English and Telesur.
James was the Director of the Journalism Fellowship Programme for eight years until he stepped down from the role in September 2017, when he took up a position as visiting professor at the IPMZ in the University of Zurich, then at the University of Navarra in Pamplona.
His main research interest is the study of climate change in the international media. He writes regularly on the issue and speaks at major international conferences for academics, journalists, policy makers and scientists. He has given evidence to two recent select committees of the UK Houses of Parliament.
He is the author of five RISJ publications on climate change: Summoned by Science: Reporting Climate Change at Copenhagen and Beyond (2010); Poles Apart: the international reporting of climate scepticism (2011); Climate Change in the Media: reporting risk and uncertainty (2013); Disaster Adverted? Television Coverage of the 2013/4 IPCC Climate Change Reports (2014) and Something Old, Something New: Digital Media and the Coverage of Climate Change (2016). He is also the author of several academic articles on the media's reporting of climate change.
James also teaches the MSc module on the media and the environment at the School of Geography, Oxford University. He has carried out several consultancies for Oxfam, UNDP, Conservation International and other organisations on the impact of climate change in Latin America and South East Asia.
James joined the BBC World Service in 1992, and worked as head of the Spanish American Service, head of the BBC Miami office, and Executive Editor Americas. Prior to joining the BBC, he was a correspondent in Bolivia for four years working for various media in the UK and USA, including the BBC, Reuters, the Independent and the Christian Science Monitor. He has published, or contributed to, several books and articles on Latin America, particularly on the drugs trade, Bolivia and Central America, and Latin American media issues
J. Painter (2016) Something Old, Something New: Digital Media and the Coverage of Climate Change, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
J. Painter (2013) Climate Change in the Media: Reporting Risk and Uncertainty, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
J. Painter (Editor) India’s Media Boom: The Good News and the Bad, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, 2013
J. Painter (2011) Poles Apart: The International Reporting of Climate Scepticism, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
J. Painter (2010) Summoned by Science: Reporting Climate Change at Copenhagen And Beyond, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
J. Painter (2008) Counter-Hegemonic News: A Case Study of Al-Jazeera English and Telesur, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
Painter J. and Schafer M. (Forthcoming, 2018). Global Similarities and Persistent Differences: A Survey of Comparative Studies on Climate Change Communication in Brevini B. and Lewis J. (eds.), Climate Change and the media, New York: Peter Lang.
Painter J. (2016) ‘Disaster, Risk or Opportunity? A Ten-Country Comparison of Themes in Coverage of the IPCC AR5’ in Media and Global Climate Knowledge: Journalism and the IPCC, Kunelius, R., Eide, E., Tegelberg, M., Yagodin, D. (eds)
Painter J. (2015) ‘Quels ont été les grands traits de l’évolution de l’opinion publique mondiale vis-à-vis du changement climatique?’, in Petit M. (ed.), Climat - le temps d’agir, Cherche-Midi.
Painter J., Kristiansen S., and Schafer M. (2018). How ‘Digital-born’ media cover climate change in comparison to legacy media: A case study of the COP 21 summit in Paris. Global Environmental Change, January, (48), 1-10.
Painter J., (2018). Journalistic Depictions of Uncertainty about Climate Change Across Countries in Nisbet M. (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Change Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Previously available online at DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.
Kundzewicz Z. W., Painter J., and Kundzewicz W.J., (2017). Climate Change in the Media: Poland’s Exceptionalism, Environmental Communication, December.
Painter J., and Gavin, N. (2016). Climate Skepticism in British newspapers, 2007 – 2011. Environmental Communication, 10:4, 432-452.
Howarth C., and Painter J. (2016). Exploring the science–policy interface on climate change: The role of the IPCC in informing local decision-making in the UK. Palgrave Communications 2, article number 16058, Doi: 10.1057.
Painter J., (2015). ‘Disaster, uncertainty, opportunity or risk? Key messages from the television coverage of the IPCC’s 2013/4 reports’, Metode Science Studies Journal, 85.
McGaurr L., Lester L., and Painter J. (2013). Risk, uncertainty and opportunity in climate change coverage: Australia compared. Australian Journalism Review
Painter, J. and Ashe, T. (2012). Cross-national comparison of the presence of climate scepticism in the print media in six countries, 2007-2010. Environmental Research Letters, 7(4), 1-8.
Painter J. and Walton P. (2017), Raising risk awareness in East Africa and India: Stakeholder perspectives of extreme weather event attribution. CDKN, London. August.
Painter J. (2015). The effectiveness of the IPCC communication: a survey of (mainly) UK-based users. Advance paper for IPCC Expert Meeting on Communication (February 2016, Oslo, Norway), available here
J. Painter (2014) Disaster Averted? Television Coverage of the 2013/14 IPCC's Climate Change Reports, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford
Painter J. (2015). ‘What’s the point of the Met Office? Easy to miss when you ignore the facts’. The Conversation, 7 August.
Painter J. (2015) ‘Taking a Bet on Risk’. Commentary. Nature Climate Change, 25 March.
Painter J. (2014) ‘From Uncertainty to Risk: new languages in climate change communication’. Climate Science Policy. 27 November.
Painter J. (2014) ‘Doom and gloom won’t do it – here’s how to sell the climate change message’. The Conversation, 23 September.