En kvantitativ studie av omnämnandet av klimatförändringen i nyhetsrapportering om stormar
Scientific evidence shows a connection between an increased frequency of intense natural disasters and man-made climate change. The purpose of this study is to see if – and to what extent – swedish press reports about climate change in their news coverage of natural disasters.
By doing a quantitative study of articles from Sweden’s four largest newspapers (Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen and Aftonbladet) we want to see how frequently the printed press, as part of their purpose is to inform and educate the population, mentions climate change as a causal factor when reporting on natural disasters.
For the purpose of this study, we chose the disaster categories storms and tropical cyclones as we believe this gives us a wide selection of articles that cover disasters both domestically and internationally. We also wanted to see the development over time. Therefore this study covers a time period of 20 years, between 1 May 1999 and 1 May 2019. In total, our study is based on 894 news articles about storms and tropical cyclones.
The study is done from the basis of a number of theories in the journalistics research field, such as framing, gate-keeping and agenda setting theory, to name a few.
Among the results we can see that the mention of climate change is rare within news articles that report on storms and tropical cyclones. However, the articles that actually do mention climate change, tend to appear when there are a few days between the occurrence of the storm and the publication date of the article. Almost half of the articles that brought up climate change, where published four days or more after the storm.