Climate Alarmism, Media Bias and the Rise of the New Media
Benny Peiser, Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Science, UK
Paper to be presented at the Climate Conference in the European Parliament, Brussels, 18 November 2009
Media coverage of climate change has markedly declined in the last two years. The global financial crisis and the growing realisation that unilateral climate policies are exerting a potentially devastating burden on European industries have led to a significant cooling of public and media interest. “In the media’s never-ending search for novelty and the unique, global warming no longer supplies dramatic and new headlines,” reputed media analysts recently concluded. As a result of almost two decades of unrelenting media sensationalism, the factors of shock and novelty, two elements that are decisive for the creation and advance of social movements, have lost much their potency. As a result, climate fatigue is becoming a widespread feature among the general public, editors and policy makers. In this presentation, I will analyse the role of the mass media in the rise and decline of global warming alarmism. I will review the latest research on social scares and media attention cycles and will describe how technological changes and the new media are helping to bring back some semblance of journalistic integrity and balance.
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