ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

Media attention on climate change (CC) in developing countries is crucial for understanding the discourses that exist in vulnerable zones. Past research has focused on printed media coverage of CC in western developed countries, but there is little knowledge on online media in developing countries. Using framing theory framework, this study analyses the way in which spanish-speaking online media frames news about CC. We carried out a quantitative content analysis of 889 news items from 97 online media outlets that published news about CC during COP16 (Cancun-2010) and COP17 (Durban-2011). Findings show that the principal sources are politicians and almost half of the news items came from news wire services. The analysis also indicated an association between the quoted source and the news frame. It is discussed that there exists a 'nationalistic domestication' and that media coverage does not respond to local needs. Further qualitative and comparative analyses are suggested.
ISSN 1405-1435, UAEM, núm. 68, mayo-agosto 2015, pp. 71-95
Media coverage of climate change
in spanish-speaking online media
Cobertura sobre el cambio climático en los medios digitales en español
Carlos Arcila-Calderón / carcila@gmail.com
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, España
María Teresa Mercado / mmercado@uchceu.es
Universidad  Cardenal Herrera, España
José Luis Piñuel-Raigada / pinuel@ucm.es
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España
Elias Suárez-Sucre / eliasd.suarez@gmail.com
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Colombia
Abstract: Media attention on climate change () in developing countries is crucial for
understanding the discourses that exist in vulnerable zones. Past research has focused on
printed media coverage of  in western developed countries, but there is little knowledge
on online media in developing countries. Using framing theory framework, this study
analyses the way in which spanish-speaking online media frames news about . We carried
out a quantitative content analysis of 889 news items from 97 online media outlets that
published news about  during 16 (Cancun-2010) and 17 (Durban-2011).
Findings show that the principal sources are politicians and almost half of the news items
came from news wire services. e analysis also indicated an association between the quoted
source and the news frame. It is discussed that there exists a ‘nationalistic domestication’ and
that media coverage does not respond to local needs. Further qualitative and comparative
analyses are suggested.
Key words: climate change, media coverage, Conferences of the Parties, Latin America,
spanish-language websites.
Resumen: La atención mediática hacia el cambio climático () en países en desarrollo
es crucial para comprender los discursos sobre esta problemática en zonas vulnerables. Las
investigaciones previas sobre cobertura mediática al  se han enfocado en medios impresos
de países desarrollados occidentales, pero hay poco conocimiento en medios digitales en
países en desarrollo. Usando la teoría del aming, este estudio analiza la manera en que
los medios digitales en español enmarcan las noticias sobre . Se llevó a cabo un análisis
de contenido de 889 noticias de 97 medios que publicaron noticias sobre  durante las
Cumbres de Cancún (2010) y Durban (2011). Los resultados muestran prevalencia de los
políticos como fuentes y de agencias noticiosas. También indican una relación entre la fuente
y el marco noticioso. Se discute que existe una “domesticación nacionalista” y que no responde
a necesidades locales. Se sugieren nuevas investigaciones de corte cualitativo y comparativo.
Palabras clave: cambio climático, cobertura mediática, cumbres del clima, América Latina,
medios digitales en español.
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
72
Introduction
e international scientic consensus on the responsibility of human beings
to act on climate change () has meant that the attention of researchers
is not solely focused on the issue of global warming itself, but that especial
attention is also paid on the socio-cultural aspects of , including the
practices and discourses that surround this issue. e construction and
circulation of discourses in contemporary societies is developed through
mass media, which explains the strong interest generated in the last few
decades in the study of these forms of communication that transmit content
regarding .
Media attention on  in English-language newspapers went from 700
references in the western media in 1988 to 7,500 in 2006. In the United
Kingdom, it quadrupled between 2003 and 2006 due to the success of Al
Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and the impact of the Stern
Report (Boyko and Roberts, 2007: 6). Schmidt, Ivanova and Schäfer
(2013) demonstrate that  is a relevant issue in 37 media outlets from 27
countries that were included in their study, representing an average of 0.62%
of all news items published between 1997 and 2009. is is compared to
media attention for other science-related issues such as stem cell research or
human genome, which received less coverage in countries such as Germany,
France and the United States over the same period.
is general interest has also been demonstrated in the wide range of
scientic literature available on how information related to  has been
covered. Studies have demonstrated that media attention does not develop
in a linear manner, but it uctuates because of spikes in attention and specic
events (Boyko, 2011). is is particularly the case during the international
Conferences of the Parties () for the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (), more commonly known as
the United Nations Climate Change Conferences (Brossard, Shanahan and
McComas, 2004; Anderson, 2009; Sampei and Aoyagi-Ussui, 2009; Painter,
2010; Liu, Lindquist and Vedlitz, 2011; Schmidt et al., 2013; Kunelius and
Eide, 2012).
e majority of the studies have been focused on the media coverage in
the United States and Europe. If the studies did include other regions, they
were generally limited to english-speaking countries. is is why Anderson
(2009: 176) states that future research could explore the reasons for dierent
levels of coverage in dierent countries, their dierent emphases and why
the views of developing countries are rarely aired. Similarly, it is important to
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
73
consider that there is a need to increase the studies centered on online media
given the enormous growth of the news websites and the Internet as a source
of news, and the parallel decline of printed news media.
Due to all of these reasons, this study aims to be a starting point for the
analysis of online media coverage of  in Spanish-speaking countries with
a specic focus on the annual s. Following Kunelius and Eide (2012),
“the summits force dierent kinds of actors and forms of knowledge into
a compressed time and space, providing an opportunity for researching
climate change politics, social climate, political theory in general and
climate journalism in particular” (2012: 268). ey understand that 
oers a framework for the trans-national representation of two areas: the
politics of  and climate journalism. For the political actors it is clear that
economic interests, technological knowledge, international alliances and the
ownership of resources, such as carbon or oil, determine their position in the
negotiations.
is study builds on previous studies by Pinuel et al. (2012) and Suárez,
Arcila and Pinuel (2013) and describes the way in which online media in
Spanish-Speaking countries are presenting news on  during 16 in
Cancun and 17 in Durban, held in December 2010 and December
2011, respectively.
Media coverage of climate change
e case of  has especial relevance for social studies. Ocial reports
from international agencies (Pachauri and Reisinger, 2007) state that the
consequences of  could be mitigated with a change in social behavior, which
includes the adoption of socio-economic practices that are environmentally
friendly. erefore, a process to raise social awareness about the issue is
necessary. e media have an important role to play in this area.
Boyko and Roberts (2007: 4) highlight the rst references to global
warming in printed media in the 1930’s. However, it was not until the 1980’s
when the issue was highlighted in the media. McComas and Shanahan
(1999), in their analysis of the media coverage of  in e New York Times
and e Washington Post from 1980 to 1995, identied a peak of interest
from these two newspapers in 1988, when the articles had a more pressing
and occasionally a desperate tone.
As Ungar (1992) concluded, in order to be part of the media agenda
it is necessary for  to have an impact on the real world: “Environmental
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
74
problems like  must ‘piggyback on dramatic real-world events” (1992:
483). Even if  was in the media decades before, it was the 1988 heatwave
across the United States that awoke interest in the issue. at year also saw
the formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (),
established by the United Nations Environment Program () and the
World Meteorological Organization (). Jaspal and Nerlich (2014:
2) also state that 1988 “can therefore be seen as a crest of a wave of social,
political and media recognition of climate change as a global problem in need
of global solutions”.  had transcended the eld of science and entered into
the socio-political sphere, resulting in an increase in media coverage in the
United States (Ungar, 1992; Trumbo, 1996), the United Kingdom (Carvalho
and Burguess, 2005) and Germany (Weingart, Engels and Pansegrau, 2000).
e same trend has appeared in other countries. e Project Global
Media Map on Climate Change at the University of Hamburg, which
measures media attention for  over a 15-year period in 23 countries from
across the World, shows that the coverage of  has slowly increased as from
1996, and in particular aer 2004 in western countries. Spikes in coverage
were noted when the   Report was published in 2007 and during the
Copenhagen Conference in 2009 (Schmidt et al., 2013).
Cottle (2009: 506) also recognized 2007 as “a transformative moment
in the news career of climate change”.  nally came of age as a “global crisis”
demanding responses from all the world’s nations. Cottle focuses on the use
of a visual environmental rhetoric. e western news medias spectacular
visualization of  through dramatic and symbolic scenes collected from
around the world has undoubtedly helped to establish its status as a widely
recognized global crisis.
e evolution of the number of references to  in the mass media can
also be demonstrated with a Spanish-language example, that of the El País
newspaper in Spain. From the rst appearance of this term in 1976 until
2009, there were a total 3,547 references over 34 years (Mercado, 2012a:
443-444). In the rst ten years of this period there were only 15 mentions of
the term “climate change”. In 1988 there were four articles that mentioned
, which highlights an enormous dierence in the media coverage of this
phenomenon compared to that of the United States due to the dierent
socio-political, economic and journalistic contexts of the two countries.
e Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 resulted in the number of
mentions in the El País newspaper reaching 62 that year. Up to 1995 there
still were a low number of references about  (96). e negotiations prior
to and during 3 in Kyoto in 1997, generated hundreds of mentions of
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
75
the term  in El País. e reduction of emissions was the main focus of El
País until 2007, when  reached its maximum level of media coverage in
the newspaper with 819 mentions.
Climate change in Latin American media
Media coverage of  in regions like Latin America has not been studied
extensively or in a cohesive manner. ere is little empirical evidence available
that examines the behavior of the media in relation to the issue of  in Latin
American Spanish speaking countries and in developed countries such as
Spain (Schäfer and Schlichting, 2014). Latin American developing countries
are especially vulnerable to the eects of . is is why there is a strong
interest in the media coverage of  in these countries.
In their analysis of  coverage from 40 newspapers in 17 countries
across ve continents, Boyko and Roberts (2007) highlight the clear need
for this analysis to be extended to other countries. e only Latin American
country analyzed in their study was Honduras. In addition, studies have
been undertaken that focused on the region (Fundación Konrad Adenauer,
2008) and on specic countries such as Peru (Takahashi and Meisner,
2013), Argentina (Mercado, 2012b), Mexico (Gordon et al., 2010) or
Chile (Dotson et al., 2012). In Mexico, the research analyzed content came
from Reforma newspaper, the same media outlet chosen by the previously
mentioned Global Media Map on Climate Change Project (Schmidt et al.,
2013). Zamith, Pinto and Vilar (2013) have analyzed the framing of  by
the elite press in three South American countries (Argentina, Brazil and
Colombia) and the United States in 2009.
Similarly, in the research graphic 2004-2012 World Newspaper
Coverage of Climate Change or Global Warming, Boyko and Manseld
(2012) analyze the media coverage of 50 newspapers in 20 countries from
each continent. Given the manner in which samples were taken, the relative
trends between the regions are more useful than the gures provided in the
study. is warning is clearly necessary in the case of the South America /
Africa regions, as only 200 articles were included from the end of 2011 when
the Durban conference was held in South Africa. In addition, two of the
three newspapers in this category were South African: the third is Clarín,
newspaper from Argentina. Focusing therefore on the trends more than the
non-comparable gures (10 newspapers from the United Kingdom, 6 from
the  and 5 from Australia); it is in South America and Africa where there
was the least amount of increase in media coverage of  since 2004.
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
76
A peak of interest occurred at the end of 2009 coinciding with 15 in
Copenhagen, but this peak is lower than in the rest of the regions that were
analyzed, above all in Europe, where the conference generated high levels
of expectations. In the South America / Africa zones, the highest levels of
coverage were at the end of 2010 when 16 was held in Cancun (Mexico),
due to a correspondent sent by Clarín newspaper to cover the conference.
Highlighted in the chart is the highest peak from this region at the end of
2011 that coincides with 17 in Durban, a gure that includes media
coverage by the two newspapers from the same country which the conference
was held in. e proximity of the conference increased media coverage in
the zone, a particularly noticeable trend when compared with the noticeable
drop in interest from newspapers in Europe and the .
Media reporting of ’s and nationalistic domestication
High-prole international events such as  are included within the
focusing events that intervene as an explanatory variable in the cycles
of media attention (Liu, Lindquist and Vedlitz, 2011). Painter (2010)
coordinated a study of media coverage of 15 in thirteen countries. From
50 newspapers, the study included 5,700 articles related to , the highest
amount of press coverage since monitoring began in 2004. Also, the Media
Climate research project monitored ’s coverage in several countries in
two national newspapers (one elite and one popular). Aer their analysis of
the Copenhagen Summit (Eide et al., 2010), they presented a transnational
and comparative look at summit coverage in Egypt and South-Africa, Brazil
and Indonesia, Bangladesh and Finland (Kunelius and Eide, 2012: 24-25).
eir results show varying degrees of dependence on international agencies,
“but more importantly, a substantive degree of nationalistic domestication.
Journalists tend to address their ‘own’ politicians,  leaders and scientists.
Domestication enhances the national interests, uncritically, or points up the
lack of action and the supercial nature of their action politics (Kunelius and
Eide, 2012: 23).
Dirikx and Gelders (2010: 735) selected Dutch and French newspapers
to analyze media coverage of s from 2001 to 2007. ey explain that a
random search of  articles in Dutch and French newspapers showed that
 was not a prevalent theme in these newspapers, except at critical moments,
like international summits. In Spain, León and Erviti (2011: 57) analyze the
role of controversy in the current situation of the strong scientic consensus
on the existence and origin of . ey do this through an analysis of the
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
77
coverage of the Copenhagen Summit in the two leading Spanish newspapers
(El País and El Mundo). is analysis is based on studies such as those of
the North American and British press to evaluate the prevalence of “false
balance” in the treatment of climate science by the mass media (Boyko and
Boyko, 2007; Boyko, 2007).
e results of León and Erviti diverge from other studies in non-..
media, in which the portrayal of controversy was very limited (Dispensa
and Brulle, 2003; Gordon et al., 2010; Zamith et al., 2013). In the spanish
newspapers, controversy is a very relevant element in the presentation of 
and is related to the editorial line of each media. is study conrms that
political ideology can work as a lter that overrides scientic knowledge.
In principle, the portrayal of controversy is apparently legitimized by an
adherence to the journalistic norm of balance. However, balance is only
applied when it is useful to present points of view that are linked to the
political standpoints of their editorial bias.
With the exception of this study from Spain, there are very few that
focus on the coverage of climate summits in developing countries and in
the Spanish-speaking media. is gap is the reason why the Hispanic region
(linked by culture and language) has been chosen as the focus of this study.
Research questions
Following Kunelius and Eide (2012) in their attention to how s are
mediated across the world, this study is guided by the following research
question:
-. How is the coverage of Spanish-language online media to  during
s in 2010 and 2011?
us, we will address the next specic research questions:
-1. Which sources did Spanish-language online media use to cover
 during ’s ?
-2. Are Latin American and Spanish gures included as sources?
-3. Which were the frames used by the media?
-3.1. What is the position of the discourse in the news items?
-3.2. What are the solutions proposed by the news items?
-4. To what extent reports are based on news wire services?
-5. Is there a signicant relationship between the source for the news
item and the frame of the reporting?
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
78
eoretical Framework
is investigation analyses the journalistic coverage of  from the
theoretical perspective of framing, which is understood as the process by
which news organizations and journalists feature, emphasize, and/or select
certain events, issues, or sources to cover over others (Nisbet, 2009). e
framing theory implies that information content not only sets the public
agenda, but also implicitly forms a way of thinking about certain issues
through news frames.
Entman (1993) explained that frames in the news can be examined
and identied by the presence or absence of certain keywords, stock phrases
or particular sentences, stereotyped images, and sources. Nisbet (2009)
highlights the importance of sources in the news agenda, which are dened
as the featured voices, actors or groups in news coverage, such as government
ocials or environmentalists.
According to Entman (1993: 52) framing is to ‘‘select some aspects
of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating
text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem denition, causal
interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation’’. In
this sense, frames can be understood as the way in which information is
presented by: i) the source quoted; ii) the position of the discourse; and, iii)
the recommendation, this is to say, the message of its conclusion.
Method
e goal of this study is examining the treatment given by Spanish-language
digital media to the news coverage of  during the Cancun (2010) and
Durban (2012) conferences. To achieve this objective, content analysis
was carried out on a sample of news published in Spanish-language media
websites, following the established criteria for this quantitative technique
(Krippendor, 2004). Several methods and approaches have been used in 
media coverage research, but a recent overview of the literature in the eld
has shown that this variety makes “comparison and analysis in one coherent
framework much more dicult” (Schäfer and Schlichting, 2014: 145). To
address this diculty and contribute to the vast body of research in the area,
this study has chosen the quantitative approach, which is still predominant
in the investigation of media coverage of  (Schäfer and Schlichting, 2014)
and of science topics (Schäfer, 2010).
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
79
In relation to the treatment of the content and based on the framing
theory, it is possible to focus attention on very dierent elements, ranging
from the selection of sources included in the content to the position of the
discourse used to interpret the events covered by the articles. is study has
placed attention on both aspects; in the rst place, the source (who speaks?)
in both their selection and position in the coverage represents an initial
element of treatment by the media. On the other hand, the way in which
information is amed by the position of the discourse (if the information
expresses conformity with the issue or clashes with it) and the message of
its conclusion (if it proposes solutions or highlights impasses) also aect
how readers perceive this issue. ese variables, based on the work by Pinuel
et al. (2012), allow for an analysis of the way in which discourses on 
are presented by online media. Analysis of these variables also facilitates
an understanding of how online media presents information and how
controversy surrounding this issue is communicated to citizens.
Measures
e following categorical variables were measured with the goal of analyzing
the treatment and focus given to the content of the news items relating to :
a) Who speaks?; it means the main source of the news item. (1.
Afected person /Victim; 2. Witness; 3. Scientic Expert/Technician;
4. Politician; 5. Alleged perpetrator of ; 6. Activist; 7. Social
Organization; 8. Others).
b) Origin of the news item; image and video (1. News wire service; 2.
Reporter; 3. Mixed; 4. None).
c) Position of the discourse (1. Expresses conformity; 2. Expresses
confrontation; 3. Does not commit to any particular position).
d) Proposal of the conclusion (1. Proposes a solution to the  as a
problem; 2. Impasse (no solution to the problem); 3. Does not propose
a problem or solution).
To clarify the key frame categorizations:
C.1. Expresses conformity: News items in which  and its consequences
(political and economic) are framed with conformity. It means that it is
assumed as if there was not a problem, one which should be rapidly solved,
or as if the current actions were enough to solve it.
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
80
C.2. Expresses conontation: Unlike the previous category, this includes
news items in which either journalists or sources present any inconformity in
regard to  and its consequences.
C.3. Does not commit to any particular position: ese news items
only make simple informative reports about the summits or  related
topics without any in-depth treatment. ere is neither conformity nor
confrontation.
D.1 Proposes a solution to the  as a problem: is frame refers to news
items that propose solutions to the problems caused by . For example, it
proposes ideas or policies for governments, suggests activities for citizens or
presents any solution to avoid the eects of .
D.2 Impasse (no solution to the problem): is frame refers to news items
that conclude that  generated problems but considers that there are no
solutions for them.
D.3 Does not propose a problem or solution: is frame does not show any
problem or consequence of .
Sample
For the analysis sample, 889 informative pieces were selected using the
following parameters:
1. Selection from the most popular online media outlets in 19
Spanish-speaking countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay
and Venezuela). We consider “popular” following the popularity ranking
established by Alexa.com (this ranking is based on commercial web trac
of more than 30 million websites). In total, 97 digital media outlets were
selected that: i) provide free access to their news articles, and: ii) had current
content indexed in Google News.
2. rough advanced search using Google News, the news articles that
had the key words “climate change” and had been published around the dates
of the s held in Cancun (29 Nov- 11 Dec 2010) and Durban (29 Nov-
12 Dec 2011) were selected.
We use “climate change” and not “global warming” because  is
the ocial name used by the  to refer to a change of climate that
has been directly or indirectly attributed to human activity. e term ‘global
warming’ was introduced by the scientist Wallace S. Broecker in an article in
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
81
Science magazine in 1975 and is still widespread in the English context, but
not in the Spanish-speaking world in which  is more used. is has been
evidenced in previous research (Mercado, 2012b). e texts that mention
the term “global warming” always include the term  as well. For these
reasons -ocial designation, terminological precision and social use in the
Spanish language context - and considering that our analysis focuses on what
are commonly known as Climate Change Summits, the keywords that were
used for the study were “climate change”.
In total, 987 news items were archived o-line (in  format)
before beginning the analysis (March 2012). Later on in the study, a manual
verication of each news item was used to conrm the existence of repeated
pieces, errors in the dates of publication and if the news items did actually
cover the issue of . rough this verication process, 107 news items were
eliminated from the sample, resulting in the denitive sample of n=889
informational pieces.
A comparative study was not carried out because all of the countries
selected were heterogeneous and we could not obtain a probabilistic and
stratied sample. Our criterion was to cover all Spanish-speaking countries,
using a linguistic parameter and the availability of data. In this sense, to focus
on the region it was decided that the study would exclude important countries
like Brazil (as it is Portuguese-speaking) and include others like Spain (out
of the Latin American context, but with many cultural and economic links)
to have an overview oh the Hispanic region. However, the main goal of the
study was not to make a complete generalization (population inference) (see
discussion about generalization in Shapiro, 2002), but to explore the trends
and relationships in the selected media (processes inference).
Validity and Reliability
Two research assistants (coders) who received prior training analyzed
the selected news articles. e nal coding instrument for the content
analysis was submitted to a validity test that relied on the decision of three
experts to rene categories for analysis. Aer this process the reliability of
the instrument was evaluated through an intercoder test. Specically, two
independent coders randomly analyzed 100 news items from the sample
(more than 10% of the total news items selected). In the case of the categorical
variables, Cohens kappa coecient (k) as well as Krippendor ’s Alpha ()
were used, and the values were identical in both indicators: Who speaks?
(k= 0.837; = 0.837), Position of the discourse (k= 0.963; = 0.963),
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
82
Proposal of the conclusion (k= 0.876; = 0.876) and Origin of the news
item (k= 0.900; = 0.900). All of these variables reached the minimum
values expected for k and  (0.60 for k according to Neuendorf, 2002; and
0.70 for  according to Hayes and Krippendor, 2007). ese tests clearly
indicated the reliability of the instrument.
Findings
Once data were collected, the analysis of the results was carried out using
 (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) soware. e central trends
of the variables studied were extracted (measures of frequencies, averages
and percentages). is was followed by a non-parametric test known as
the Chi-squared test of independence (X2), with the goal of identifying
the existence or not of a statistically signicant association between the
categorical variables.
It was found that the media coverage of  during the Cancun and
Durban conferences by news websites demonstrated similar trends ().
However, there was an important reduction in the number of news items
published in Spanish-language digital media on the issue of  from 2010 to
2011, dropping from 626 news items to 263.
As indicated in Table 1, if the total sample (N= 889) is examined, it can
be observed that the subjects who are used as sources in articles referring to
 (1) are primarily politicians (36.8%), followed by witnesses (20.9%),
experts (14.6%), and social organizations (11.7%). ese trends were
consistent between 2010 and 2011.
Within the news it was found a total of 605 names used as sources and
mentioned 1,882 times. Only 34 persons were mentioned more than 10
times and of this group just 4 persons were scientists: Mario Molina, Nobel
Prize in Chemistry for his role in elucidating the threat to the Earths ozone
layer of chlorouorocarbon gases (n =12); Rajandra Pachauri, Chairman
of  (n=13); Michel Jarraud (n=14) and Jeremiah Lengoasa, Secretary-
General and Deputy Secretary-General of  of the World Meteorological
Organization () (n=10). Additionally, one ecologist was incorporated
as a source: Gustavo Ampugnani, Latin American Policy Coordinator at
Greenpeace (n=10).  high-level representatives were also mentioned.
Specically, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of  (n=52),
and Ban Ki-moon,  Secretary-General of (n=46).
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
83
Mexican President Felipe Calderon (n = 94) was the most mentioned
source in our study (2). We can notice that Mexican media had a more
complete coverage of 16 due to the proximity. Calderon appeared more
times than Patricia Espinosa (n = 54), who was his Minister of Foreign
Aairs. e second most quoted person was Evo Morales (n=79), President
of Bolivia, who during 16 called for a deal to “save the planet” and
sentenced that any agreement must include the “rights of Mother Earth”.
us, the speech of Pablo Solon Romero, Ambassador of Bolivia to the 
and negotiator in Cancun, was covered 32 times by the media. Politicians
of other Latin American countries were also signicantly quoted in news:
Ecuador (President Rafael Correa, n= 38; María Fernanda Espinosa, n = 29);
Venezuela (President Hugo Chavez, n= 35; Claudia Salerno, n= 12); Brazil
(President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, n= 26); Argentina (President Cristina
Fernandez, n= 23) or Colombia (President Juan Manuel Santos, n=19).
Regarding the frames produced by the position of the discourse (3.1),
the ndings demonstrated that in general the majority of the information
did not commit to a particular position (49.27%), although an important
portion of these news items expressed confrontation (39.37%) within
their content. As it is noticed in Table 2, only a small percentage expressed
conformity (11.36%). Similarly to the previous category, there were no
signicant dierences between the samples from 2010 and 2011.
Although the position of the discourse provides clues about the
attributes and focus of the articles, the frames of the proposals of the articles’
conclusions were also analyzed (3.2). is category records whether or
not a solution was proposed within the article for the problems generated
by . Table 3 demonstrates that, in general terms, 40% of the articles did
not propose a problem or solution in the news item (a category that reduced
considerably from 2010 to 2011), as there was no clear position provided in
the general conclusion of the article. However, the study found that almost
40% of other news items clearly proposed a solution, which means that they
included proposals based on improving interactions with the environment
and/or within the same social system (Pinuel et al., 2012). is sub-category
remained constant between 2010 and 2011. Finally, 19.57% of the news
articles presented an impasse, which means that even though they proposed
a problem they did not oer any type of solution. e percentage of articles
with impasses increased from 2010 to 2011.
Almost a half (47%) of the sample of news items studied was from news
wire services (4), mainly international agencies such as  (36.1%), 
(20.49%),  (16.34%), and to a lesser extent regional and national news
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
84
agencies such as Notimex (6.34%). ese wires were published without any
editing. In the case of the images, videos and podcasts that were included in
the publication of the news item, a large number of these were not attributed
to any source (Table 4). Even when  or  has nowadays services in
Spanish,  (based in Spain) was the rst international news wire service
exclusively in Spanish with a more complete coverage of Latin American
issues, and thus its role in the Spanish-Language media is very relevant.
Politicians were the most quoted sources in the news from wire services
(57.4%) and in the news written by media reporters (51.3%). ere were not
dierences in the position presented in the news from wire services and those
from reporters: news items that do not commit to any particular position are
47% in those from wire services and 52% in those from reporters; news that
express confrontation are 39% in the case of wire services and 38% in the case
of reporters; and news that express conformity are 13% in wires and 9% in
media reporters’ news.
In relation to the proposal of conclusion, in 20% of the news from wire
services and from media reporters there is no solution to the problem (caused
by ). Against one could imagine, proposals for solutions are presented
in wires to a greater extent (43.2%), compared to news written by media
reporters (36.3%). Furthermore, the percentage of news items in which the
nal paragraphs do not propose a problem or solution was higher in those
written by media reporters (43%) than those from wire services (37.6%).
With the goal of nding associations between the inclusion of a source
and the news frame (position of the discourse and proposal of conclusion) a
series of statistical tests (X2) were carried out (5).
When victims [X2 (2, N = 889) = 26,383, p <.01] (|3.8| > 2.58) or
activists [X2 (2, N = 889) = 19,055, p <.01] (|2.6| > 2.58) appear, there is
a trend for the news item to express confrontation. Similarly, when one of
the sources is a politician there is a tendency for the article to commit to
a particular position [X2 (2, N = 889) = 21,460, p <.05] (|−2.2| < -1.96),
but the analysis does not reveal if it is either conformity or confrontation.
Clearly, witnesses were less likely to commit to a particular position [X2 (2,
N = 889) = 28,830, p <.01] (|3.1| > 2.58) and scientists less likely to express
conformity [X2 (2, N = 889) = 8,994, p <.05] (|−2.2| < -1.96). According
to data, the presence of scientists [X2 (2, N = 889) = 36,213, p <.01] (|3.4|
> 2.58) and politicians [X2 (2, N = 889) = 14,126, p <.01] (|1.9| > 1.96) is
associated with a greater possibility that a solution is proposed in the news
item, but when witnesses [X2 (2, N = 889) = 14,126, p <.01] (|3.1| > 2.58),
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
85
activists [X2 (2, N = 889) = 9,188, p <.05] (|1.7| > 1.96) and victims [X2 (2,
N = 889) = 9,144, p <.05] (|2.0| > 1.96) appear the trend is to not propose
a solution.
Additionally, we found that the relationship between the origin of the
news item (news wire service, reporter, mixed) and the participation of a
politician in the article was signicant (X2 (2, N = 889) = 7,840, p <.05*/
Fisher’s exact=0.019 < 0.05), but it was not possible to nd which factor
within the variables strengthened the relationship. It was also found that
when a witness was the source there was a lower tendency that the origin of
the article was mixed (X2 (2, N = 889) = 12,644, p <.01/Fisher’s exact=0.001
< 0.01) (|-2.1| < -1.96). e data analysis did not show any association
between the origin of the news item and the position of the discourse or the
proposal of conclusion.
Discussion
e signicant decline (by 65%) in the number of news items between 2010
and 2011 is consistent with the ndings of Boyko and Manseld (2012)
in their analysis of the European media: almost 600 news items referred to
16 in Cancun while just over 400 covered 17 in Durban. is trend
did not occur in the media in the United States, where coverage slightly
increased over the same period. is can be linked to the dependence of the
news websites included in this study on the international news agencies based
in Europe (near 70 % of the total) where the worsening of the economic
situation in 2011 increased interest in economic or work-related news, to
the detriment of other issues such as . Moreover, as our data revealed,
the news items with frames of no solution proposed (impasses) increased
from 2010 to 2011, which we infer may also be related to the change of the
economic context in those years.
Likewise, the context in which media content is created and transmitted
is of especial importance. In the case of news items on  that were broadcast
by television networks in Spain during the Cancun and Durban conferences,
Gaitan and Pinuel (2013) demonstrated a relationship between the
economic crisis and the discourse on  presented to audiences. Building
on this research, the data is conrmed by Aguila (2013) in a study that shows
how the coverage of these events by television networks dropped between
 in Cancun and following year’s meeting in Durban, precisely because
the economic crisis the country faced in the same period increased. is
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
86
demonstrates how the constrictions of the economic system noticeably aect
the development of discourses and content with topics of general interest.
In Latin America there is an even more marked decline between the
coverage of the two conferences as that the rst (16) was held in Mexico.
e large Latin American media organizations covered this international
conference, sending special correspondents that led daily reports on the
negotiations. ese were discussions that involved important leaders from
these countries and the declarations from the Conference had a resounding
impact on media coverage from the region. As it has been previously observed
in relation to the coverage of ’s, politicians are the actors who are most
quoted as they are the main participants in the negotiations, much more so
than experts or scientists.
Similar studies in countries across the region that were not specically
focused on an analysis of ’s also concluded that politicians were the most
quoted sources in the media coverage of . In a study of 1,628 articles on
 published in 2003, 2005 and 2007 in Chile (Dotson et al., 2012), the
politicians represented 57% of the sources quoted in the El Mercurio and
68% in La Nación, while experts were quoted in 22% and 21% of the articles
on , respectively.
Supporting the contributions of Liu, Lindquist and Vedlitz (2011: 407),
Schmidt et al. (2013) arm that the coverage of these conferences is part
of the media relations approach to , describing what is at stake in terms
of the consequences of  and utilizing the high prole of political actors
who participate in these international negotiations. During the summits,
the politics of  are reduced to being a purely international component
(Brossard et al., 2004).
In the initial reports on global warming when the issue rst appeared
in the public agenda, scientists were the main sources of information, but
later on politicians and interest groups (industry and environmental) came
into picture (Trumbo, 1996). Wilkins (1993) highlights that in 1990, the
majority of sources cited in news items on global warming shied from
scientists to politicians and interest groups. e change from a discussion
dominated by science to a discussion led by political and industry gures
might have contributed to the confusion surrounding  that exists in the
United States media (Williams, 2001).
Painter (2010) conrms that in the media coverage of 15 in
Copenhagen scientists were hardly quoted, with the scientic perspective
being secondary to politicians and industry leaders. In the 427 articles
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
87
analyzed, almost 80% of the news items had less than 10% of their content
specically relating to  science. Only 9% of the texts dedicated more
than a half of their content to scientic aspects with 22 of these 34 articles
published in western media outlets (Australia, Italy, , ) that directly
quoted scientic organizations like  and s. Kunelius and Eide also
highlight the limited presence of politicians in Copenhagen, despite the
unprecedented number of scientists who were present and the abundance
of scientic information that was available. “is implies that scientists were
not actively included (by journalism) in the political bargaining” (2012:
275). “Ocial sources are more likely to present mainstream and status-quo
views and partake in conict scripts among institutional actors, limiting thus
the scope of possible concerns and solutions presented in the press” (Zamith
et al., 2013: 350).
Addressing 1, in the Spanish-speaking Online Media our data conrm
that politicians are the main sources of news. Only 4 scientists declare
(previously mentioned: Mario Molina, Rajandra Pachauri, Michel Jarraud
and Jeremiah Lengoasa). Molina in 16, as he is Mexican, and the others
because  presented in 17 its Climate Annual Report, which stated
that thirteen of the warmest years recorded have occurred within the last
decade and a half. Very signicant was the appearance of just one ecologist.
Our study also found that witnesses were important sources (20.9%) during
the coverage of ’s, even more quoted than scientists (14.6%).
Furthermore, the media treatment of 16 indicates a nationalistic
domestication (Kunelius and Eide, 2012) by Latin American media at two
levels (2). In one level the domestication refers to Mexico as the 16
host country: there is a high percentage of Mexican politicians used as
sources in the news analyzed in this study. Besides Mexican president and
the Mexican organizer of 16, there were important quotes by Marcelo
Ebrard Casaubón, head of the Government of Federal District. e most
quoted scientist (M. Molina) is also Mexican. Hence, in Cancun, the large
presence of Mexican politicians seems to present the nation as a global actor.
At another level, we can observe this domestication as a region.
e Presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil (as well as the
Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Aairs) were more quoted than international
names such as Barak Obama, Connie Hedegaard (European Commissioner
for Climate Action) and Todd Stern (United States Special Envoy for
Climate Change). In 16 in Cancun, the media preferred to include high
political leaders (as presidents) instead of technical actors, like Juan Elvira
Quesada, Mexican Secretary of Environmental Issues. Nonetheless, in 17
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
88
in Durban, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, President of  and Secretary of
International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, was even more
quoted than President Jacob Zuma.
3.1 and 3.3 address  news frames. ese frames were divided into
those that did not commit to any particular position (news items concerning
major declarations on the issue) and others in which the journalist included
confrontation and highlighted the opposition to the policy or actions that
are the subject of the article.
Almost a half of the sample of the news items studied came from
international news wire services (4), coinciding with the results from
the research by Takahashi and Meisner (2013), which examines the role of
news agencies in media treatment of  in Peru. is eliminates the capacity
of online media to consult local actors. Liu et al. (2011) emphasize the
importance of local and regional commitments made by media organizations
regarding . erefore the inclusion of a high percentage of news items from
international agencies shows the lack of a connection between the global
problem and concerns and action at a local level. However, our data shows
no signicant dierences of treatment in items from news agencies and those
written by media reporters. In both cases politicians (and their agendas) are
extremely relevant, instead of agents of recognition such as ecologists and
experts. Our ndings suggest that Spanish-Speaking Online Media do not
take advantage of ’s to bring  topics to media readers closer.
5 suggested that some actors of  (victims or activists) are more
likely to have a confrontational position that may be understood as a position
of protest with current policies. is trend is conrmed when we observed
that scientists (the rst to alert about  causes and consequences) were less
likely to express conformity. is way, there is a relationship between the
speaker and the way their speech is presented in the news item.
is last nding has theoretical and practical implications. In the rst
place, it is clear that our results conrm framing theoretical framework
and suggest it is a useful approach to understand media coverage. e
incorporation or not of a source changes the way news items are presented in
media, thus the framing process begins when the journalist has to choose who
speaks about . On the other hand, this fact might orientate specialized
journalistic practice. ose who give the information signicantly aect
news writing, so if journalists are aware of this eect, the nal news frame
can be less sensitive to the source. is can also change the inuence of public
understanding and political decision-making in society (Hansen, 2011).
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
89
Conclusions1
e data included in this study can be used to improve the understanding
of how  is covered by online media in Spanish-speaking countries. We
found that the media treatment focuses on the political debate and there is
a signicant association between quoted sources and the news frame. Data
also showed that a signicant body of news came from news wire agencies
and that sources were especially related to countries’ media, which implies
a nationalistic domestication. us, our study reveals that foreign coverage
trends are similar in the Hispanic region, and this empirical evidence aims
to reduce the gap in  media coverage research in non English-speaking
countries and developing nations. Moreover, the link between the quoted
source and  news frames supports the framing theoretical approach, which
serves as an adequate framework for news coverage analysis.
is study has its limitations in terms of sample size and representativeness,
and is an initial approximation for research on  in Latin America and Spain.
is research area can continue to be advanced, above all by incorporating an
analysis of qualitative discourses in the search for a more in-depth approach
to the problems surrounding  in the media, as an instrument to raise social
awareness and the rst step towards taking action. Future research may also
incorporate a comparative analysis to detect any signicant dierence in the
way each country of the region covers .
Bibliography
Anderson, Alison (2009), “Media, Politics and Climate Change: towards a new research
agenda”, in Sociology Compass, vol. 3, no. 2, Maiden (), .
Águila, Juan (2013), “El framing en las noticias sobre las cumbres del cambio climático
en la televisión española, in Anuario Electrónico de Estudios de Comunicación Social
“Disertaciones”, vol. 6, no. 1, San Cristóbal, Venezuela.
Boyko, Maxwell and Boyko, Jules (2007), “Climate change and journalistic norms: A
case-study of  massmedia coverage”, in Geoforum, vol. 38, no. 6, Philadelphia (),
.
Boyko, Maxwell (2011), Who Speaks for Climate, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
1 e authors would like to thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for the
economic support given to & Project Ref. 2010-16936 directed by J. L. Pinuel. e
authors would like to recognize the support they received from Observatorio de Medios y
Opinión Pública of Universidad del Norte (Colombia) and Università degli Studi di Napoli
“Federico II” (Italy) to undertake this study.
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
90
Boyko, Maxwell (2007), “Flogging a dead norm? Newspaper coverage of anthropogenic
climate change in the United States and United Kingdom from 2003 to 2006”, in Area,
vol. 39, no. 4, Maiden (), .
Brossard, Dominique, Shanahan, James and McComas, Katherine (2004), “Are issue-cycles
culturally constructed? A comparison of French and American coverage of global
climate change”, in Mass Communication and Society, vol. 7, no. 3, Reino Unido.
Carvalho, Anabela and Burgess, Jacquelin (2005), “Cultural Circuits of Climate Change
in U.K. Broadsheet Newspapers, 1985-2003”, in Risk Analysis, vol. 25, no. 6, Maiden
(), .
Cottle, Simon (2009), “Global Crises in the News: Staging New Wars, Disasters, and
Climate Change”, in International Journal of Communication, no. 3, Los Angeles, .
Dirikx, Astrid and Gelders, Dave (2010), “To frame is to explain: a deductive frame-analysis
of Dutch and French climate change coverage during the annual  Conferences of
the Parties, in Public Understanding of Science, vol. 19, no. 6, .
Dispensa, Jaclyn and Brulle, Robert (2003), “Media’s social construction of environmental
issues: focus on global warming – a comparative study”, in International Journal of
Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 23, no. 10, Bingley, United Kingdom.
Dotson, Devin et al. (2012), “Media coverage of climate change in Chile: A content analysis
of conservative and liberal newspapers”, in Environmental Communication: A Journal
of Nature and Culture, vol. 6, no. 1, United Kingdom.
Eide, Elisabeth, Kunelius, Risto and Kumpu, Ville (eds.) (2010), Global climate – local
journalisms: A Transnational Study of how Media make Sense of Climate Summits,
Bochum: Projektverlag.
Entman, Robert (1993), “Framing: toward clarication of a fractured paradigm”, in
Journal of Communication, vol. 43, no. 3, Maiden (), .
Gaitán, Juan and Pinuel, José (2013), “Efectos de la crisis en el discurso sobre el Cambio
Climático desde Cancún a Durban”, in Anuario Electrónico de Estudios de Comunicación
Social “Disertaciones”, vol. 6, no. 1, San Cristóbal, Venezuela.
Gordon, Joye, Deines, Tina and Havice, Jacqueline (2010), “Global Warming Coverage in
the Media: Trends in a Mexico City Newspaper”, in Science Communication, vol. 32,
no. 2, .
Hayes, Andrew and Krippendor, Klaus (2007), “Answering the Call for a Standard
Reliability Measure for Coding Data, in Communication Methods and Measures, vol.
1, no. 1, United Kingdom.
Hansen, A. (2011), “Communication, media and environment: Towards reconnecting
research on the production, content and social implications of environmental
communication, in e International Communication Gazette, vol. 73, no. 1-2, .
Jaspal, Rusi and Nerlich, Brigitte (2014), “When climate change became climate politics:
British media representations of climate change in 1988”, in Public Understanding of
Science, vol. 23, no. 2, .
Krippendor, Klaus (2004), Content Analysis. ousand Oaks, : Sage.
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
91
Kunelius, Risto and Eide, Elisabeth (2012), “Moment of hope, mode of realism: On the
dynamics of a transnational journalistic eld during  climate change summits”,
in International Journal of Communication, no. 6, Los Angeles, .
León, Bienvenido and Erviti, María (2011), “Portrayal of scientic controversy on climate
change. A study of the coverage of the Copenhagen summit in the Spanish press”, in
Observatorio (*) Journal, vol. 5, no. 3, Portugal.
Liu, Xinsheng, Lindquist, Eric and Vedlitz, Arnold (2011), “Explaining Media and
Congressional Attention to Global Climate Change, 1969-2005: An Empirical Test
of Agenda-Setting eory”, in Political Research Quarterly, vol. 64, no. 2, .
McComas, Katherine and Shanahan, James (1999), in “Telling stories about global climate
change”, Communication Research, vol. 26, no. 1, .
Mercado, María Teresa (2012a), “Periodismo ambiental: entre la especialización y el
compromiso”, in Fernández Sanz and Rubio Moraga (eds.), Prensa y periodismo
especializado V., Proceedings of Congreso Prensa y Periodismo Especializado.
Mercado, María Teresa (2012b), “Media representation of climate change in the Argentinean
Press”, in Journalism Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, United Kingdom.
Neuendorf, Kimberly (2002), e Content Analysis Guidebook, ousan Oaks, : Sage.
Nisbet, Matthew (2009), “Communicating Climate Change: Why Frames Matter for
Public Engagement”, in Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development,
vol. 51, no. 2, United Kingdom.
Pachauri, Rajendra and Reisinger, Andy (eds.) (2007), Climate Change 2007: Synthesis
Report, Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ().
Pinuel, José et al. (2012), Comunicación, controversias e incertidumbres ente al consenso
cientíco acerca del Cambio Climático, Tenerife: Sociedad Latina de Comunicación
Social.
Sampei, Yuki and Aoyagi-Usui, Midori (2009), “Mass-media coverage, its inuence on
public awareness of climate-change issues, and implications for Japans national
campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, in Global Environmental Change, vol.
19, no. 2, Philadelphia, .
Schmidt, Andreas, Ivanova, Ana and Schäfer, Mike (2013), “Media Attention for climate
change around the world: A comparative analysis of newspaper coverage in 27
countries, in Global Environmental Change, vol. 23, no. 5, Philadelphia, .
Schäfer, M. and Schlichting, I. (2014), “Media Representations of Climate Change: A
Meta-Analysis of the Research Field”, in Environmental Communication, vol. 8, no. 2,
United Kingdom.
Shapiro, Michael (2002), “Generalizability in Communication Research”, in Human
Communication Research, no. 28, .
Suárez, Elias, Arcila, Carlos and Pinuel, José (2013), “Tratamiento de la temática referente al
cambio climático en los medios digitales españoles”, in Anuario Electrónico de Estudios
de Comunicación Social “Disertaciones, vol. 6, no. 1, San Cristóbal, Venezuela.
Takahashi, Bruno and Meisner, Mark (2013), “Climate change in Peruvian newspapers: e
role of foreign voices in a context of vulnerability”, in Public Understanding of Science,
vol. 22, no. 4, .
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
92
Trumbo, Craig (1996), “Constructing climate change: Claims and frames in .. news
coverage of an environmental issue”, in Public Understanding of Science, vol. 5, no. 3, .
Ungar, Sheldon (1992), “e rise and (relative) decline of global warming as a social
problem”, in Sociological Quaterly, vol. 33, no. 4, Malden (), .
Wilkins, Lee (1993), “Between facts and values: Print media coverage of the greenhouse
eect, 1987-1990”, in Public Understanding of Science, vol. 2, no. 1, .
Weingart, Peter, Engels, Anita and Pansegrau, Petra (2000), “Risk of communication:
Discourses on climate change in science, politics, and the mass media”, in Public
Understanding of Science, vol. 9, no. 3, .
Williams, Jerry (2001), e rise and decline of public interest in global warming: toward a
pragmatic conception of environmental problems, Huntington, : Nova Science.
Zamith, Rodrigo, Pinto, Juliet and Vilar, María (2013), “Constructing Climate Change in
the Americas: An Analysis of News Coverage in .. and South American Newspapers”,
in Science Communication, vol. 35, no. 3, .
Electronic references
Boyko, Maxwell and Roberts, Timmons (2007), Media coverage of climate change: current
trends, strengths, weaknesses [United Nations Report]. Retrieved from: http://hdr.
undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2007-2008/papers/Boykoff,%20Maxwell%20
and%20Roberts,%20J.%20Timmons.pdf (March 11th, 2009).
Boyko, Maxwell and Manseld, Maria (2012), World Newspaper Coverage of Climate
Change/Global Warming. Retrieved from: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/media_
coverage/index.html (July 1st, 2013).
Fundación Konrad Adenauer (2008), El tratamiento del cambio climático en la prensa
latinoamericana [Report]. Retrieved from http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_13392-
1522-4-30.pdf?110224152514 (March 11th, 2009). http://www.oem.com.mx/oem/
notas/n1878203.htm (June 15th, 2012).
Painter, James (2010), Summoned by Science. Reporting Climate Change at Copenhagen and
Beyond. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism [Report]. Retrieved from: https://
reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/fileadmin/documents/Publications/Challenges/
Summoned_by_Science.pdf (March 30th, 2011).
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
93
Appendix
Table 1
Who speaks?
Responses 2010 Responses 2011 Total number of
Responses
No. %No. %No. %
Activists 51 5.59 32 7.70 83 6.30
ose aected/Victims 37 4.07 13 3.16 50 3.80
Social Entities 104 11.45 50 12.06 155 11.70
Experts/Scientists/
Technicians 133 14.62 60 14.46 194 14.60
ose responsible 12 1.31 4 0.95 16 1.20
Others 49 5.38 14 3.35 63 4.80
Concerned Politicians 362 39.86 126 30.37 488 36.80
Witnesses 161 17.72 116 27.97 277 20.90
To t a l 909 100.00 415 100.00 1326 100.10
Source: own elaboration.
Table 2
Position of the news item
2010 2011 To t a l
No. %No. %No. %
Expresses Conformity 77 12.30 24 9.13 101 11.36
Expresses
Confrontation
246 39.30 104 39.54 350 39.37
Does not commit to
any particular position
303 48.40 135 51.33 438 49.27
To t a l 626 100.00 263 100.00 889 100.00
Source: own elaboration.
Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, núm. 68, 2015, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
94
Table 3
Proposal of conclusion included in the news item
2010 2011 To t a l
No. %No. %No. %
Impasse (no solution) 107 17.09 67 25.48 174 19.57
Solution is proposed 246 39.30 109 41.44 355 39.93
No problem is included
in the news item 273 43.61 87 33.08 360 40.49
To t a l 626 100.00 263 100.00 889 100.00
Source: own elaboration.
Table 4
Origin of news, images and videos
Source of the
news item
Source of the
image
Source of videos
Source of
podcasts
No. %No. %No. %No. %
News wire
services 417 47.0 247 27.9 3 0.3 3 0.3
Reporter 446 50.1 232 26.1 7 0.8 9 0.8
Mixed 25 2.8 9 1.0 0 0 0 0
None 0 0 400 44.9 878 98.8 876 98.8
To t a l 889 100.0 889 100.0 889 100.0 889 100.0
Source: own elaboration.
Carlos Arcila Calderón. University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain), PhD in
Communications. Research eld: Digital communication and Journalism.
Recent publications: C. Arcila, M. Calderín & C. Castro (eds.), An
Overview to Digital Media in Latin America, London: University of West
London (2014); C. Arcila, J. Piñuel and M. Calderín,“e-Investigación en
Comunicación: Actitudes, herramientas y prácticas en los investigadores
iberoamericanos, in Comunicar: Revista Cientíca de Comunicación y
Educación, 40 (2013); C. Arcila and E. Said, “Factores que inciden en
la variación de seguidores en los usuarios 20 más vistos en Twitter en
América Latina y Medio Oriente”, enInterciencia, vol. 37, no. 12 (2012).
Carlos Arcila-Calderón, María Teresa Mercado, José Luis Piñuel-Raigada y Elias Suárez-Sucre.
Media coverage of climate change in spanish-speaking online media
95
María Teresa Mercado. University  Cardenal Herrera (Spain), PhD in
Communications. Research eld: Environmental communication. Recent
publications: M. T. Mercado, A. Álvarez & J. Herranz, “Le fracking au
coeur du débat dans les médias: le rôle des plateformes citoyennes comme
source d’information, in -Journal for Communication Studies,
no. 13 (2014); S. Sánchez Castillo and M. T. Mercado, “El encuadre de las
enfermedades raras en la prensa española, in Anuario Electrónico de Estudios
en Comunicación Social “Disertaciones, vol. 7, no. 1 (2014); M. T. Mercado,
“Media representations of climate change in the Argentinean press, in
Journalism Studies, vol. 13, no. 2 (2012).
José Luis Piñuel Raigada. Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain),
PhD in Philosophy and Social Psychology. Research eld: Communication
methods and theories. Recent publications: J. L. Piñuel, J. A. Gaitán
and C. Lozano, Conar en la prensa o no. Un método para el estudio de la
construcción mediática de la realidad, Salamanca: Comunicación Social,
Colección Metodologías Iberoamericanas de la Comunicación (2013);
C. Arcila, J. Piñuel and M. Calderín,“e-Investigación en Comunicación:
Actitudes, herramientas y prácticas en los investigadores iberoamericanos,
in Comunicar: Revista Cientíca de Comunicación y Educación, vol. 40
(2013); J. L. Piñuel and J. A. Gaitán, “El discurso hegemónico sobre la verdad
y la comunicación en la autorreferencia mediática en Prensa”, in Revista
Latina de Comunicación Social, vol. 13, no. 65 (2010).
Elias Suárez Sucre. Sergio Arboleda University (Colombia), Master in
Communications. Research eld: Digital communication and Journalism.
Recent publications: E. Suárez, C. Arcila Calderón and J. Piñuel Raigada,
“Tratamiento de la temática referente al cambio climático en los medios
digitales españoles. Estudio enmarcado en las cumbres del cambio climático
de Cancún (2010) y Durban (2011)”, in Anuario Electrónico de Estudios en
Comunicación Social “Disertaciones, vol. 6, no. 1 (2013).
Recepción: 5 de septiembre de 2014.
Aprobación: 10 de febrero de 2015.
... Les sources institutionnelles : montrent l'importance du savoir qui est transféré par les médias et indiquent qui fait l'ordre du jour pour le public. Une étude analysant les nouvelles sur changement climatique dans les pays hispanophones (Arcila-Calderón et al., 2015) montre que les hommes politiques et les agences de presse sont les principales sources d'information environnementale. L'étude a indiqué une relation directe entre les sources et l'information, l'aspect de « domestication nationale », l'accent mis sur le débat politique et l'absence de relation entre la couverture médiatique et les besoins locaux. ...
... L'étude a également identifié des tendances similaires pour les régions hispaniques (Amérique latine, Espagne), les pays émergents et les pays en développement. Selon l'étude, il est nécessaire d'approfondir l'analyse du changement climatique, en tant qu'outil pour accroître la conscience sociale et les actions appropriées (Arcila-Calderón et al., 2015). À l'échelle mondiale, les Nations Unies (2020) fournissent des ensembles de données et des statistiques. ...
... General media research focused on developing countries has found that the news media are heavily dependent on information subsidies and official government sources (Ogan & Swift, 1982). They also rely on news agency material in coverage of international climate conferences, and when they supply their own coverage, lean largely on politicians as news sources (Arcila-Calderón et al., 2015). ...
Article
When the media cover mega infrastructural and economic development projects, the benefits of the projects in terms of job creation and economic gains are emphasized, while the environmental impacts remain generally unreported. This research article examines coverage of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the Pakistani media, with a particular focus on how the project is framed by the media in a developing country. We find that the media in Pakistan foreground economic considerations, the project’s geostrategic implications, the internal challenges to its completion, and its impact on national security. Despite Pakistan’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, the media frame the project in terms of its potential economic benefits, while frames which foreground climate or environmental risk are largely absent. We theorize that the coverage may provide an example of ‘diversionary framing’ whereby the attention of audiences is directed away from the environmental consequences of CPEC and towards its economic benefits. Our study adds to our understanding of how the media of developing countries respond to the arrival of a mega infrastructure project, and also to the small but growing literature focused on the Pakistani media.
... Several studies on climate change in the media have found that political talks, policy discourse and uncertainty often appearand the local news stories are under-reported. For example, a study by found that the news media play a key role in shaping the climate change information and the increase in coverage was attributed to politics than nature science and climate talksin the US print and television media.A study by Calderón et al.(2015) in Spanishspeaking online media during COP16 (Cancun-2010) and COP17 (Durban-2011) found that the principal sources are politicians and discussed that there exists a 'nationalistic domestication' and that media coverage does not respond to local needs. According to Pompper study (2004), the mainstream newspapers used frames that relied heavily on government and industrial sources where common people voices are suppressed. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Abstract: Prasar Bharti is India's public broadcaster. It is an autonomous corporation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Government of India. It comprises the Doordarshan television network and All India Radio (AIR). Prasar Bharti was established on 23 November 1997. In the face of tremendous technological advances and severe competition from the airwaves since 1991, Doordarshan has survived and revived itself many times in the past five decades since its inception in 1959. As the former monopolistic public service broadcaster in the largest democracy in the world, it continues to struggle to fulfill its role as a mass medium for information, education and entertainment. This research tries to explore the nature of programs and audience participation in the production of these programs along with an enquiry about the usefulness of programs for the target audience. Doordarshan Ranchi is a unit of public broadcasting at the regional level and the study is an effort to evaluate the current scenario of feedback mechanism and to discover various problems and challenges faced by this one of the oldest regional centres. While doing a case study, with the help of primarily structured and unstructured in-depth interviews, an overview of the programming content data have been collected. Besides this secondary data such as annual reports, program schedules and files have been analysed. The results show that the way Doordarshan Ranchi, as a Public Service Broadcaster, has been taking up feedback mechanism and audience research leaves room for much improvement in the content. The participation of audience in content selection is almost negligible. However, the indication from the experts suggests that there is usefulness of content being delivered by Doordarshan. These regional channels are continuously under pressure to earn revenues because of increasing expenses and lack of proper funding from the Central government. Doordarshan is aiming to increase its revenues more nowadays. Participation of farmers and the rural audience is less. Being the only public service broadcaster in Jharkhand state, the relay of programmes is limited to a certain district, not the entire Jharkhand.
Chapter
This article describes how climate change influences nature and human life and it is the basis for social and economic development. News reporting on climate change must address the challenges in the deeper social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. The news coverage of climate change and sustainability issues helps people to better understand the concepts and perspectives of environment. This article aims to examine how dominant newspapers in Tamil Nadu have framed climate change and sustainability issues. This is done by analyzing climate change articles (N = 120) in two mainstream newspapers – The Hindu in English and the Daily Thanthi in Tamil. Climate change communication in regional newspapers and local news stories may increase the public's interest and knowledge level regarding climate change and sustainability issues.
Chapter
Climate change conferences had wide media coverage – be it on newspaper, radio, television or the internet. The terms such as ‘climate change', ‘global warming', and ‘El Nino' are gaining popularity among the public. This study examines the news coverage of climate change issues in the major daily newspapers—The Times of India, The Hindu in English, and the Dina Thanthi, Dinamalar, and Dinamani in regional language (Tamil)—for the calendar years 2014 and 2015. This chapter describes how climate change influences nature and human life, and it is the basis for social and economic development. The news coverage of climate change and sustainability issues helps the reader better understand the concepts and perspectives of environment. Climate change communication in regional newspapers and local news stories may increase the public's interest and knowledge level regarding climate change and sustainability issues.
Chapter
En este capítulo analizamos algunos datos de una demoscopia realizada en 2020, en España, cuyo trabajo de campo se realizó, inesperadamente, durante el primer estado de alarma sanitaria. Los antecedentes de este estudio se remontan a las demoscopias realizadas por el grupo de investigación SEPA-interea y con el apoyo de la Fundación MAPFRE para explorar diacrónicamente el posicionamiento ante el cambio climático de la sociedad española. En esta aproximación nos centraremos en el análisis de tres dimensiones: la cognitiva, la emocional y la referida a diferentes comportamientos asociados a estilos de vida alternativos requeridos para mitigar las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero.
Book
Full-text available
El libro "Cambio climático. El trabajo del periodista de ciencia" responde a la necesidad de contar con materiales en lengua hispana, que apoyen el quehacer de la comunicación pública de la ciencia. Esta obra, coordinada por Clementina Equihua Zamora y Ma. Emilia Beyer Ruiz, publicada por la SOMEDICyT, contribuye a satisfacer la necesidad de materiales que den apoyo a periodistas y comunicadores que aborden los temas relacionados con el cambio climático. Se suman a la obra capítulos elaborados por Horacio Salazar (+), Ángela Posada-Swafford, Aleida Rueda y Ana Claudia Nepote. Además, cuenta con un glosario elaborado conjuntamente con The Climate Reality Project, ONG liderada por el ex vicepresidente Al Gore, un recuento histórico y una amplia bibliografía.
Article
Full-text available
Controversy has been a relevant element in the coverage of climate change. Several studies emphasize the influence of economic, political, and journalistic factors in the portrayal of controversies on this topic, along the last few decades. Very often this was related to the lobbying action of several political and economic interest groups and resulted in the portrayal of a distorted image of the scientific knowledge on this topic. This paper presents some results of a research project on information about climate change in the Spanish media (*). It analyzes the role of controversy in the current situation of strong scientific consensus on the existence and origin of climate change, through some content analysis of the coverage of the Copenhagen summit on climate change, in December 2009, in the two leading Spanish newspapers (El País and El Mundo). Results indicate that controversy still plays a relevant role in the coverage of this topic, and it is related to the editorial line of each newspaper. When controversy receives ample attention, it is portrayed mainly by means of opinion articles and it is linked to a restrictive presence of the scientific point of view. Balance is used as a legitimization tool, when it is useful to support the editorial line. (*) This project is sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (CS02010-15269).
Article
Full-text available
Se analiza en la prensa el discurso mediático que guarda referencia con algún otro discurso que, convertido en tema de agenda, re refiere a la propia actividad de los MCM, y se utiliza para ello el procedimiento del Análisis de Contenido a fin de desvelar las constricciones lógicas del discurso canónico de esta referencia; luego se contrasta este discurso canónico de los MCM sobre la Comunicación social (extraído del Análisis de Contenido) con el discurso producido por jefes de prensa y directores de comunicación de diferentes tipos de organizaciones: empresas, administración, partidos políticos, sindicatos, asociaciones, etc., a fin de desvelar igualmente los ejes sobre los cuales se hace hegemónico su discurso sobre los MCM a propósito de �la verdad� y �la comunicación�; se persigue así conocer la viabilidad de los cambios que convenga proyectar tanto para la formación de los periodistas, como para fijar los estándares de calidad del servicio público del periodismo. Los datos que aquí se exponen y discuten proceden de una investigación I+D+i (Ref. SEJ2007-62202-SOCI) titulada El discurso hegemónico a propósito de la verdad y de la comunicación: lo que dicen los MCM sobre la Comunicación Social, cuyo IP ha sido José Luis Piñuel Raigada y cuyo informe final se está elaborando
Article
Full-text available
Se presentan resultados de un estudio dirigido a determinar los factores que inciden en la variabilidad de seguidores de los usuarios Top20 más vistos en Twitter en América Latina y Medio Oriente. Se determinaron los perfiles públicos de los 20 usuarios (N= 154 usuarios) de Twitter con más popularidad en Colombia, Chile, México y Venezuela (por América Latina); e Irán, Libia, Túnez y Egipto (por Medio Oriente); y se realizó un análisis de contenido de los últimos 20 tweets (N= 2.344 tweets) asequibles publicados por cada usuario. Asimismo, se realizaron diferentes análisis para determinar cuáles eran los factores estadísticamente significativos que afectaban la variabilidad de los seguidores. Los resultados muestran algunas diferencias en los perfiles de los países de ambas regiones (como el idioma), pero evidencian también un perfil de usuario predominante: hombres con perfil abierto o público, usuarios asiduos a Twitter y pertenecientes al mundo de las artes, la moda y el periodismo. Los modelos estadísticos expuestos revelan que tanto los usuarios vinculados a las mencionadas actividades, así como los llamados everyday users (ususarios cotidianos, con roles intensivos), tienen mayor probabilidad de ganar seguidores. También, son los contenidos con actitudes positivas o neutras los que atraen más seguidores. Contrastados con estudios previos, se observa que los perfiles de los usuarios de ambas regiones se mantienen con el tiempo y que el modelo de análisis de factores empleado en este estudio puede ser replicado en otros países y regiones del mundo.
Article
Full-text available
Media influence public awareness through agenda setting and framing of news by selecting what is published, how frequently and through what frames. This content analysis compares portrayals of climate change based on political ideology of the media. It examines daily coverage of climate change in Santiago, Chile by the conservative, El Mercurio, newspaper, and the liberal, La Nación. Twenty percent of the 1,628 articles published in 2003, 2005, and 2007 which included the words “cambio climático” (climate change) or “calentamiento global” (global warming) were analyzed for frequency, content, images, and frames. The liberal newspaper published twice as many articles that were twice as long, with four times as many illustrations about climate change. They presented more thematic and diverse frames than the conservative newspaper. Government sources and conflict frames dominated both newspapers, reflecting some similar maturation processes of climate change coverage found in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere.
Article
Full-text available
A flurry of studies in recent years has analyzed the role of media in climate change communication. This article provides a systematic, large-scale, and up-to-date overview of the objects and characteristics of this research field through a meta-analysis. It identifies 133 relevant studies and analyzes them empirically. The results show that research activity has risen strongly over time, and that the analytical spectrum has expanded to include an increasing number of countries, more types of media including online and social media, and different methodological approaches. The analysis also demonstrates, however, that scholarship in the field still concentrates strongly on Western countries and print media.
Article
Taking the global climate-change summits (the COP process and particularly the Copenhagen 2009 COP15 summit) as a point of departure, this article looks at the dynamics of a momentarily articulated transnational journalistic field. Based on a comparative study of summit coverage across the world, the article identifies two broad positions shared by many journalists and newspapers. On one hand, journalists took an active part in constructing and mediating a normatively based, cosmopolitan discourse that demanded a conclusive, multilateral agreement. On the other hand, journalism produced a detached and partly nationally grounded discourse of power realism. This article also looks at how these shared and rival positions opened space and opportunities for journalists to criticize and scrutinize their domestic political actors on the issue of climate change. Finally, the study argues that despite its cosmopolitan moments and reflexivity, journalism was part of a potential change of tone in climate-change coverage in which the plausibility of a multilateral agreement and the legitimacy of transnational organizations (such as the UN) may have been seriously undermined, at least in the short run.
Article
The media play an essential role in the construction of social reality and consequently knowledge of what is reported in the media is essential to understanding social attitudes towards significant issues such as climate change. The assumption here is that more and/or better information fosters a clearer understanding of ecological issues, environmental awareness in society, and contributes to a transformation of values, attitudes and behavior. Few authors focus on the role of journalism in the mass communication of climate change in Latin American countries; however, these countries are very important in international negotiations because they possess most of the natural reserves to be protected at this crucial time, the “post-Kyoto” stage. For these reasons, Argentina is chosen as the focus of this study.