New Student Research on How News Affects Support for Climate Adaptation
News media are the public’s primary source about risks such as climate change, but traditional journalistic approaches to climate change have failed to build support for collective social responses. Solutions journalism, an emerging practice focused on credible stories about responses to societal problems, may oﬀer an alternate approach. From an online experiment with a convenience sample of U.S. undergraduates (N = 348), we found that solutions journalism stories were positively associated with perceived behavioral control, which mediated support for collective action for climate change adaptation. Additionally, attribution of responsibility to individuals and government, participant hope, and eco-anxiety were associated with support for collective action. Findings extend our understanding of how risk communication aﬀects policy support for climate change adaptation and suggest that solutions journalism may allow journalists to communicate climate change’s danger without depressing support for social action to mitigate its eﬀects.
Thier, K. & Lin, T. (2022). How solutions journalism shapes support for collective climate change adaption. Environmental Communication. https://doi.org//10.1080/17524032.2022.2143842