Threat Without Efficacy? Climate Change on U.S. Network News

P. Sol Hart, Lauren Feldman

This study investigates how U.S. network television news stories have conveyed threat and efficacy information about climate change, both directly and indirectly, through the discussion and framing of climate change impacts and actions. Results show that while impacts and actions are discussed independently in a majority of broadcasts, they are rarely discussed in the same broadcast. Moreover, while news coverage frequently conveys the threat of climate change, it provides an inconsistent efficacy message, often including both positive and negative efficacy cues. Finally, impacts are framed primarily in terms of environmental consequences, whereas actions are framed in terms of political conflict.

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