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Reproducing the politics of climate change: A study of Thai newspaper reporting

Dhiensawadkij, Duangkaew 2018. Reproducing the politics of climate change: A study of Thai newspaper reporting. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis aims to investigate the news reporting of climate change issues in three Thai newspapers, examining in particular the part played by journalistic practices in their representation. Key concepts from theories of risk society and critical approaches to news production are employed to formulate the conceptual framework. In empirical terms, two methods are employed to gather and interpret evidence. Specifically, a textual analysis is employed to initially identify and assess how climate change issues were constructed in the three selected newspapers. It helps to document how journalistic values, newsworthiness and news narratives work to reproduce climate change as a global agenda. The findings interpret evidence that the officials and their claims dominate news related to climate change. These primary-definers exploit climate change issues to support the nationalist arguments related to national energy security, while environmentalists de-legitimize coal-fired power plant investment with climate change issues. The findings confirm economic and conflict framing in the news coverage. Next, semi-structured interviews with journalists and news sources produced insights into the newsgathering processes. Evidence confirms that removing environmental news beats from the structure of newsgathering, the so-called the news net, sustains the power of institutional sources over environmental news agendas. The scarcity of skilled environmental journalists who are keen on environmental politics in Thailand fundamentally intensifies environmental frame-blindness, usual source dependency, and polarisation in newsrooms. This results in dominating capital growth news frames and dominated environmental news frames. These circumstances strengthen the position of the officials and resourceful organisations as the primary-definers in news related to climate change. The thesis advances the central argument that journalistic practice sustains the definitional power of national officials regarding climate change politics in Thailand. Specifically, the selected newspapers report that reducing national emissions and solving climate change are priority issues, yet in actual fact the risks associated with climate change do not receive sufficient coverage. It is shown that by prioritising other types of environmental news, particularly around financial investment and legal issues, this news coverage fails to contribute to public understanding of sustainable development to an adequate extent

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Funders: Thammasat University, Thailand
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 November 2018
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2021 14:18

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