Measuring and modeling Russian newspaper coverage of climate change
Coan, Travis G.
Global Environmental Change
Reason for embargo
As a significant emitter of greenhouse gases and a country rich in fossil fuels, Russia plays a crucial role in achieving a comprehensive solution to climaterelated challenges. Yet, Russia’s official position on climate change has varied considerably since the beginning of global negotiations, with the country playing everything from policy leader to laggard. While there are a number factors that shape domestic policy positions on climate change, this study offers a comprehensive investigation of newspaper coverage on climate change in Russia. How have Russian newspapers discussed the issue since the Yeltsin era? We approach this question by compiling the largest data set of Russian newspaper coverage to date, which includes 11,131 climate-related articles from 65 papers over a roughly 35 year period. After introducing a “computer assisted” approach to measure the core themes running through climate change coverage, we statistically evaluate the national- and newspaper-level factors associated with how coverage is framed, focusing attention on 23 high circulation papers over the period from 2000 to 2014. We find that national-level predictors—particularly economic conditions—are highly influential of whether climate change is covered and how the issue is framed, while paper-level factors such as the presence of energy interest and ownership structure also have notable effects. Overall, this study offers a rich data set and an array of methods to better understand the drivers of climate communication in Russia.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 41, pp. 99–110
- Politics