"I think it's up to the media to raise awareness." Quality expectations of media coverage on climate change from the audience’s perspective

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2021.01.004

Keywords:

science journalism, quality expectations, assessments, audience perspective, climate change, group discussions, Theory of Subjective Quality Assessments (TSQA)

Abstract

This study aims to increase the understanding of how the media should report scientific issues by exploring audience’s expectations of how the media cover the contemporary, global issue of climate change. Drawing upon qualitative group discussions (n = 26) and on the theoretical perspective of Wolling’s Theory of Subjective Quality Assessments (TSQA), we provide insights into the relations between public views on climate change and the expectations and assessments of its media coverage. Stimuli material of climate change media coverage presenting uncertainty, a scientific claim, and emotional appeal was integrated. Overall, the relevance of the media for this public issue was emphasized. Despite diverging opinions on how the media should adopt its societal function, a more solution-oriented, detailed and diversified coverage was desired to provide guidance and to overcome topic fatigue. Differing quality dimensions regarding content and reporting style from the audience’s perspective were derived.

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Published

2021-06-10

How to Cite

Wicke, N., & Taddicken, M. (2021). "I think it’s up to the media to raise awareness." Quality expectations of media coverage on climate change from the audience’s perspective. Studies in Communication Sciences, 21(1), 47–70. https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2021.01.004