• Silje Reitan Fridén
  • Anna Maud Torsteinsdatter Hersvik
4. term, Communication, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis aims to investigate the process of making scientific findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Report (IPCC AR6) accessible, comprehensible, and relevant in selected Scandinavian news media. Through a quantitative content analysis of 429 articles from Aftenposten, Aftonbladet, Berlingske, Dagens Nyheter, Dagsavisen, Jyllands-Posten, Politiken, Svenska Dagbladet, and Verdens Gang, the thesis provides valuable insights into the media coverage of AR6 during the period surrounding the publication of the three different working group reports and the synthesis report.

The quantitative findings are supported by empirical data from qualitative interviews with journalists from Politiken, Svenska Dagbladet, and Verdens Gang, as well as an interview with one Communications Manager from the IPCC's Technical Support Unit. Overall, the thesis aims at achieving a broader understanding of how climate science is communicated in the selected news outlets.

The theoretical framework is grounded in previous research examining media coverage of climate change, climate journalism, and science communication in the context of the IPCC. Therefore, the study draws upon relevant theories of environmental communication and Public Understanding of Science (PUS).

The analysis reveals that climate science does not always hold a central position in the media coverage of IPCC AR6 in the selected news outlets. Instead, the coverage often incorporates other engaging agendas and contexts alongside the climate science. The advanced terminology used in scientific discourse and the climate panel’s strict guidelines pose distinctive challenges for IPCC in making the climate science from the Sixth Assessment Report accessible and comprehensible. Both the science itself and the climate issue are distant from the Scandinavian public, which affects the journalists’ coverage of AR6. Finally, the thesis identifies a paradox regarding the perception of timeliness in relation to climate change. Despite the escalating severity and urgency of its consequences, the global climate change is often neither close nor sufficiently current within the Scandinavian context.
Publication date1 Jun 2023
Number of pages132
ID: 532411316