The Reuters Institute for Journalism Studies, in partnership with the Oxford University Climate Network, conducted a field study on people’s follow-up to climate change through the media. The study included eight countries: Brazil, France, Germany, India, Japan, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and covered a year. One is 2022, in an attempt to extrapolate people’s attitudes in this serious issue, and after people witnessed its most dangerous manifestations, such as the continuing devastating floods in Pakistan, the destruction of agricultural crops in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia, the unprecedented rise in temperature in Europe, and the disasters of Hurricane Ian in the United States. and Cuba.
The 45-page study highlighted important points, most notably:
– 50% of those surveyed said that they followed the news of climate change during the week of the study, and one out of seven of the respondents said that the last follow-up of the same news took place two weeks ago, and a small percentage said that they do not follow it at all.
– A third of the respondents said that their means of watching television.
– Young people follow up less than the elderly on climate change issues.
– The public is interested in following scientists and environmental activists, while it listens to a much lesser extent, to politicians and governments on these issues, and there is a percentage of followers who are interested in the reports of international organizations.
50% of followers trust the media.
Confidence in news of climate change varies from one country to another, and sometimes according to political orientations. In countries where right-wing parties are in power, interest is less, but in all cases people trust what scientists say in this regard.
The phenomenon of “news avoidance” predominates in tracking climate change news, ranging from 10% in Japan to 40% in India.--
Apart from the reasons linking politics and “avoiding news”, there are other factors that lead to avoidance in following up on climate change news, such as exhaustion, a sense of exhaustion of effort, a sense of the lack of value of this news, or that it does not carry anything new, or anxiety about it. Or the feeling that it transmits negative energy and frustrates the general mood.-
Large numbers of respondents are concerned about the possibility that broadcast information about climate is wrong or misleading.
– Consumers of climate change news, who keep it up on a weekly basis, often have a background in the basics of climate science, such as the link between climate change and global warming.
– 75% of respondents in the United States, and 89% of respondents in India, are concerned about the impact of climate change on people around the world.
An important report, although it is flawed from the point of view of observers, in its lack of coverage of the Arab region, and its confinement to the descriptive approach without presenting a director, a task that may be left to another effort in a case that still needs many times the effort that was presented in it.
• Young people are less aware of climate change issues than older people.
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