“All we hear is blah, blah, blah”

En jämförande fallstudie i svenska nyhetsmediers rapportering om IPCC:s klimatrapport år 2013 och 2021

The aim of this thesis is to investigate how six nationwide Swedish news mediums reported on the first part of the IPCC:s Fifth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, and compare it to the reporting of the first part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Thus we will compare our results between the different years and the different kinds of news mediums.

The four papers analyzed are Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen and Aftonbladet. The two television news programs analyzed are SVT1 Rapport 19.30 and TV4 Nyheterna 19.00. The material that was analyzed consists of 173 articles and tv-segments,
published one week before and three weeks after the reports were published each year. Our material therefore extends from September 23d to October 21st, 2013, and from August 2nd to August 30th, 2021.

Previous research shows that journalists have a hard time fitting climate science into media logic. This is because slow processes like climate change and scientific hypotheses and prognoses about the future hold little news value. Because of this we wanted to examine how our chosen news media frames the issue of climate change and how well the news coverage
conveyed the research of the IPCC. Theories of media logic and framing were therefore used to guide our analysis and draw conclusions.

When designing our codebook we relied heavily on operational indicators of previous studies, including O’Neill, Williams, Kurz, Wiersma and Boykoff (2015) and Kunelius, Eide, Tegelberg and Yagodin (2017). We also used Ghersetti’s, Andersson Odén’s and Wallin’s (2008) operational indicators to classify the tone of the articles and tv-segments, for example if they were alarming or calming.

The results of the study show a considerable increase of news value around the IPCC report
with a 120 percent increase in articles and tv-segments between the years – of which the daily
papers mainly increased their amount of opinion articles, whereas the evening papers mainly increased their amount of news articles. In addition, the evening papers covered the climate
report more continuously than the other news mediums. We also see that 70 percent of our material from 2021 is of an alarming tone, which goes hand in hand with an increase in frames of disaster and local/specific concerns. We also see that the places that are reported on as affected by climate change are moving closer to Europe and Sweden. What we also see is that the news reporting is in accordance with the scientific research field, discussions about
scientific uncertainty occur quite rarely in 2013 and almost not at all in 2021.

Hanna Fagerlund, Lovisa Gustavsson och Ellen Lindqvist Karsberg
Journalist, Journalistikgranskning , ht21
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