Variable Outlook: the portrayal of renewable energy in the media

Media content and imagery often provides the raw material most of us use for making sense of the world. They also have a knock-on effect on our political institutions: what people perceive and believe, and at least as importantly what politicians think they believe, is likely to limit the perception of political space and impetus for political action. The media matters, in other words.

With this in mind, PIRC was particularly interested in examining the ways in which renewable energy was covered during periods of particular focus over 2009. While the – predominantly contrived – debate over climate science has since taken centre stage in the denial lobby’s efforts to impede effective action, during important policy debates in 2009 and since, media attention to renewable energy has arguably played an equally significant role.

To illuminate what kind of role this was, PIRC examined coverage of renewables across four major British newspapers in July 2009 – the month that saw the release of the Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy.

Download: Variable Outlook: The portrayal of renewable energy in the media

Download: Supporting Data

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