Debating Canadian Climate Change Policy: Policy Networks and Discourse Coalitions in National News Media

Friday, July 18, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: 503
Oral Presentation
Mark STODDART , Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NF, Canada
David TINDALL , Sociology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Randolph HALUZA-DELAY , The King’s University College, Canada
Jillian SMITH , Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
The news media serve as an important forum for public debate among key actors and organizations involved in climate change policy networks. We examine national news coverage of climate change policy debate in Canada during 2007-2008, which is a peak period in national climate change news coverage. We use a discourse analysis approach to answer four questions: Who are the central organizational actors who appear in national news coverage? What are the central discourses about climate change in national news coverage? How do these central organizations cluster around shared agreement over key climate change discourses? How do these central organizations cluster around shared opposition to key climate change discourses? By answering these research questions, we see how the national media and key news sources attribute responsibility for addressing climate, and define the political responses that should be implemented to mitigate or adapt to climate change. We also gain insight into the ways that organizations align around particular policies and ways of understanding climate change, resulting in discourse coalitions, as well as rifts in climate change policy debate.