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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.933
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.980

CiteScore 2016: 1.17

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.626
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 1.100

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Volume 41, Issue 3


Constructing an illusion of scientific uncertainty? Framing climate change in German and British print media

Hannah Schmid-Petri / Dorothee Arlt
Published Online: 2016-09-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0011


This article uses quantitative content analysis data from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013 to examine the salience and construction of scientific uncertainty about climate change in German and British press coverage using quantitative content analysis data from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013. The results show that uncertainty about climate change − against overwhelming consensus among climate scientists − is prominent in the press coverage of both countries. The findings indicate that it is important to distinguish whether scientific uncertainty can be found at the level of single articles, or at the level of the coverage as a whole. The study also reveals that uncertainty is constructed differently in German and British press coverage in terms of the media’s framing of climate science and the types of actors who are involved in the construction of scientific uncertainty.

Keywords: uncertainty; framing; climate change; skeptics; newspaper coverage; quantitative content analysis

About the article

Published Online: 2016-09-02

Published in Print: 2016-09-01

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 41, Issue 3, Pages 265–289, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0011.

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©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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