Publications

Climate Change in the Media: Reporting Risk and Uncertainty

This publication can be bought from I. B. Tauris

Download the Executive Summary and First Chapter

Scientists and politicians are increasingly using the language of risk to describe the climate change challenge.  Some researchers say stressing the ‘risks’ from climate change rather than the ‘uncertainties’ can create a more helpful context for policy makers and a stronger response from the public.  But understanding the concepts of risk and uncertainty – and how to communicate them – is a hotly debated issue. In this book, James Painter analyses how the international media present these and other narratives around climate change. He focuses on coverage of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and of the melting ice of the Arctic Sea, and includes six countries, Australia, France, India, Norway, the UK and the USA.

How the media communicates risk and uncertainty about climate change is critically important. This book highlights good and bad practice by the media and provides extremely sensible suggestions for improvments in the future.

Lord (Nicholas) Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Politcial Science.

James Painter is Head of the Journalism Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ), Oxford University.  He worked for several years for the BBC World Service and has written extensively on climate change and the media.  His latest publication is Poles Apart: The International Reporting of Climate Scepticism (RISJ, Oxford University).