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Journal Articles Journalism Studies Year : 2012

Climate Change Controversies in French Mass Media 1990-2010


This article offers an analysis of controversies surrounding the coverage of climate change in the French press. The theoretical framework for the analysis combines the sociology of public problems, media sociology, and science and technology studies. We present these controversies as an expression of a struggle over the ownership and framing of climate change as a public problem. Specific social groups are involved in this process of definition, framing, and agendasetting. The success or failure of these groups in closing debates results in the construction of issues as either consensual matters-of-fact or controversial matters-of-concern. This framework allows us to distinguish between two phases in the career of this public problem, characterised by differences in ownership-configurations and the visibility of controversial points of view. We identify four relevant groups*scientists, politicians, journalists and non-governmental organisations*as well as certain social processes that help to explain changes in the attention that controversies received from the media. We conclude with the hypothesis of a third phase characterised by a relatively high degree of attention on controversies in French media.
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Dates and versions

hal-00757066 , version 1 (26-11-2012)


  • HAL Id : hal-00757066 , version 1


Stefan Cihan Aykut, Jean-Baptiste Comby, Hélène Guillemot. Climate Change Controversies in French Mass Media 1990-2010. Journalism Studies, 2012, 13 (2), pp.157-174. ⟨hal-00757066⟩
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