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How constructive news outlets reported the synergistic effects of climate change and COVID-19 through metaphors

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/03/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journalism Practice
Issue number2-3
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)384-403
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date20/08/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


COVID-19 has provoked fears that the heavy reporting of pandemic developments may cause climate change to slip from public attention. Views have also converged that the focus should be on the positive lessons of COVID-19 for addressing climate change. This paper examined Guardian Online and Positive News to identify examples of good practice in reporting the synergistic effects of climate change and COVID-19, as both are committed to covering climate change and practice solutions-oriented constructive journalism that provides context by explaining relations between issues. The study sought to identify the types of synergistic effects that were reported and how they were reported through metaphors - key conceptualisation tools. Analysis of 153 news articles published in the first year of the pandemic showed that the coverage of synergistic effects was solutions-oriented and synergistic effects were discussed mainly through Movement and Colour metaphors - particularly the colour Green. War metaphors which have dominated reporting when climate change and COVID-19 have been discussed separately were rare. Reliance on Movement and Colour metaphors can be interpreted as a positive practice, as Movement metaphors are
familiar, vivid and more flexible than War metaphors, while Green metaphors are closely associated with environmentalism and have positive connotations.