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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>8/08/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journalism Practice
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

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.