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Climate change reporting in an Australian context: Recognition, adaptation and solutions

Mojo online page

Volume 19, Issue 1

May, 2013

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Fitzgerald, B. (2013). Climate change reporting in an Australian context: Recognition, adaptation and solutions. Pacific Journalism Review, 19(1), 203-219.
Author(s): Bridget Fitzgerald
Publication date: 
May, 2013

Exegesis: This exegesis is based on the production of three features that explore local impacts of climate change. The features are part of a journalism research project that investigated the question: how can journalistic practice generate an accurate, balanced account of climate change issues in Australia? The journalist rejects an approach that positions environmental reporting—or the ‘green beat’—as a form of advocacy journalism. In contrast, the researcher positions her journalism practice within mainstream Australian journalism. The researcher sets out to produce reports, which adhere to the conventional journalism norms, including those of ‘balance’ and ‘accuracy’. She explicitly critiques and rejects the phenomenon known as ‘balance as bias’, explored by Boykoff and Boycoff (2004) which, by over accessing climate sceptic sources, obstructs the reporting of climate change as an important economic, social, political and environmental issue. This exegesis explains and defends a different approach that focuses on local reporting rather than large-scale events in distant places. Robert Entman’s definition of framing is used to explain how climate change issues were addressed in each narrative.

Frontline-linked media articles by Bridget Fitzgerald :
Rising sea level threatens Port Phillip homes - Mojo, 14 May 2013
Water conservation plan to save drought-hit farmland  Mojo, 14 May 2013
Wind farm planning laws a barrier to meeting renewables targets - Mojo, 14 May 2013

Frontline series editor: Professor Wendy Bacon