Climatic Change

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 1-16

First online:

Dividing climate change: global warming in the Indian mass media

  • Simon BillettAffiliated withOxford University Centre for the EnvironmentChrist Church Email author 

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Much research has now been conducted into the representation of climate change in the media. Specifically, the communication of climate change from scientists and policy-makers to the public via the mass media has been a subject of major interest because of its implications for creating national variation in public understanding of a global environmental issue. However, to date, no study has assessed the situation in India. As one of the major emerging economies, and so one of the major greenhouse gas emitters, India is a key actor in the climate change story. This study analyses the four major, national circulation English-language newspapers to quantify and qualify the frames through which climate change is represented in India. The results strongly contrast with previous studies from developed countries; by framing climate change along a ‘risk-responsibility divide’, the Indian national press set up a strongly nationalistic position on climate change that divides the issue along both developmental and postcolonial lines.