The narratives in contemporary journalism: A qualitative analysis of the coverage of the environment and climate change by the Luxembourg Times

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The media industry is faced with a great challenge to communicate climate change to wider society. This research dives into understanding the climate narratives in business journalism with the use of William Cronon’s 1992 essay titled “A Place for Stories: Nature, History and Narrative” as a theoretical framework. The theory is structured with the help of scholars of environmental history on narratives – where the power of narratives in stories has been used to analyze journalistic coverage by breaking down the ingrained discourses and ideologies in news at the chosen case study. The case for this study is the “Luxembourg Times” – an English national daily in the Western European country of Luxembourg. The research has revealed that aspects such as the news presentation as a “chronicle of capital flows” in business journalism, “deadlines and the struggle to achieve page views” and the “poor agency for nature – and the civil society” directly affects the way climate journalism is practiced. The case of the Luxembourg Times has revealed internal efforts to revolutionize the traditional, contemporary practice by introducing so-called “initiatives” – as a form of “slow” journalism. This proves that the structural capacity of journalism refrains from allowing the reporters the capacity to report on climate issues in an investigative manner – but there is a demonstrated motivation and competence within the Luxembourg Times to cover climate change in a more effective manner. However, the current form of climate communication is dominated by anthropocentric variables, such as: “risks”, “chronicle-like news tracking green capital flows” and “negative impacts of climate events on humans” – with a high dependence on the state institution for the sourcing of information and the underrepresentation of the civil society (especially, the academia) in climate coverage.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen