Science in pictures: Visual representation of climate change in Spain’s television news

Bienvenido León, Mª Carmen Erviti

The images used by the media to represent science can help people’s understanding of complex processes and create meaningful links with audiences. This is particularly relevant in the case of climate change (CC), an important phenomenon that, nevertheless, is often perceived as a remote issue, with no relevance to daily life. This article presents the main results of a research on the images used in television news to represent CC. From a sample of 1476.4 hours of Spanish television news programmes, a content analysis of 78 stories on climate change was carried out. This was complemented with six semi-structured interviews at five TV newsrooms. Results indicate that the low rate of coverage of CC can be related to the scarcity of attractive images available to the channels.

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