Climate coverage reached a turning point in 2019

strike for climateOslo.School strike for climate - national climate strike.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

The number of media reports on climate targets and CO2 emissions increased by over 100 per cent last year.

In a new analysis, media monitor Retriever has looked at the discussion of the climate issue in Norwegian media over the last eight years.

The conclusion is that 2019 became a turning point.

“What we see is that the mention of climate targets, CO2 emissions, climate summits – that is, how to solve the climate challenges – has been fairly smooth from 2012 to 2018, says Guro Lindebjerg, head of analysis at Retriever to NTB.

“But when we reach 2019, we see a doubling in the number of mentions in Norwegian media.”

Surprising development
Overall, Retriever has registered 25,406 postings on the topic in 2019, against 12,420 the previous year.

Lindebjerg sees a clear break through.

“We have had an impression of a bigger push on that theme last year. But that it should be a doubling, it’s really surprising when the development has been so steady six years before that,” she says.

According to her, the category of climate and environment is now among the five most talked about topics in Norwegian media, along with sports, culture and entertainment, business and politics.

Furthermore, the trend seems to be continuing into 2020. The number of mentions in January was higher than the monthly average for 2019.

Glad for the attention
The backdrop is a year marked by large-scale mobilization for the climate among young people, led by Swede Greta Thunberg (17) and her global army of school strikers.

Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn (Venstre/Liberal Party) welcomes the issue.

“At the same time, I do not think this would have happened without the strong commitment we have seen among children and young people in recent years. Children and young people have put climate on the agenda, and the media understands this,” says Rotevatn in a comment to NTB.

He urges the media to continue writing about climate in 2020.

“They have to hold us accountable and challenge us when they think the emissions will not go down fast enough,” says Rotevatn.

Global warming, wind power and shame
Retriever has also made a count of the number of “global warming” posts. Here the number increased by 55 per cent from 2018 to 2019.

During this period, the number of mentions of wind turbines more than tripled.

In addition, Retriever has looked into the many different combinations with the word “shame” that appeared in the media last year. The list is almost endless and covers everything from cabin shame to Christmas shame, shopping shame, mommy shame, bacon shame and yoga shame – although this last variant was only used once last year.

Most commonly used was the concept of flying shame, which was used in 3,204 posts in 2019. Next comes meat shame, car shame, oil shame and climate shame.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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