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Climate Change Essay

1999 words - 8 pages

To proceed with an analysis on news coverage on climate change, with a specific interest on coverage on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the original Fifth Assessment Report for Policymakers was first consulted. An analysis of this report will be conducted in order to establish what aspects of this report were embellished, highlighted, obscured, or simply ignored in this comparative analysis between mainstream and alternative news coverage. A brief summary of this report is therefore useful to conduct further analysis on news discourse and framing of this subject.
The purpose of the IPCC's (2013) report was to inform policymakers on the current trends and ...view middle of the document...

4). A summary of this report is crucial to understanding news frames on this document. This brief summary elucidates that emphasis is drastically diverted from the effects and consequences of climate change; rather, an emphasis drawn to the various uses of the vary degrees of scientific language for certainty. Further analysis of this report and a comparative media analysis will be made in the following paragraphs.
Objective Journalism: The Dangers of Both Sides
To begin my my analysis of how climate change is reported by different news outlets, I will first define 'objectivity' and establish a historical trajectory in which this ideal emerged. Allan (2010) defined objectivity as a professional disposition which strives to represent the news as facts, independent of any personal bias or opinion. In order to achieve this impartial reiteration of an event, journalists work to present “both sides” of the story as a means to remain a level of neutrality or distance from the topic. The language used in objective journalism stresses the need to remove emotive words thereby writing in a nonpartisan manner. However, objectivity as a journalistic ideal was not borne from any moral contemplations of individuals working in this field. The evolution of objectivity as an established practice is very much a product of the technological, political and economic implications of the past.
Allan (2010) outlined how historical developments had far reaching implications on the increase of objective reporting. He highlighted that the use of the telegraph as a tool to wire current events over distant lands created the need to condense reports to include “only the facts” as communication with this tool was costly and content capacities were limited. Journalists worked to remove their partisan opinions so news events could be transmitted as simply as possible. In addition, pressures from advertisers greatly influenced the how news was reported. This resulted in an economic persuasion of publications to associate with the political center rather than circulating radical or partisan viewpoints of an event. Since advertisers did not want to appear aligned with any radical political discourses, as this may affiliate their products or services with a particular political plight, “neutral” or “unbiased” reporting became a normative journalistic practice. Consequently, objective reporting was a strategy for advertisers (and the news press alike) to reach a broader audience which increased general readership, newspaper sales and advertising revenues. Objective reporting came to define, legitimize, and advance journalism as a reputable profession. Once we understand the historical rationales behind objective reporting, it then becomes clear that there exists certain biases embedded in the value of objectivity itself. These values include the pursuit of profits by both advertisers and newspaper owners, the desire to disseminate news in a cost effective way, and..... This...

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