Comparing Climate Change Coverage in Canadian English and French-Language Print Media: Environmental Values, Media Cultures, and the Narration of Global Warming

Nathan Young, Eric Dugas


This article compares how climate change is presented in English- and French-language print media in Canada. In recent years, climate change has become an increasingly divisive issue, with the media playing a central role in the promotion of competing claims and narratives in the public sphere. Using concepts from environmental sociology and the sociology of journalism, we examine content from six English- and two French-language newspapers from 2007-2008 (N=2,245), and find significant evidence of both convergence and divergence across the language divide. Among the most significant findings are differences in how complexity is handled: English outlets present diverse coverage that is highly compartmentalized, while the French newspapers present a narrower range of coverage but with thematically richer articles that better link climate change issues to the realms of culture, politics, and economy.


Climate change, media, English, French, communication, complexity

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