Media Consumption and Regional Perceptions of Global Climate Change: Findings from Germany

Jens Tenscher


Global climate change has been one of the most urgent problems confronting humanity in recent years. However, there are intercultural and intracultural differences in perceptions both of the dimensions of global climate change and the necessity of fighting it. It is assumed that these perceptions depend heavily on the quantity and quality of media coverage and individuals’ media usage. To test how media consumption interacts with sociodemographic variables in affecting perceptions of global climate change, a regional survey was conducted in the southwest of Germany. A representative sample of 753 persons was interviewed face-to-face in February 2008. The study provides differential insights into the relationship between predispositions, media consumption, and orientations towards global climate change. Results show that media effects are relatively small and subordinated to attitudinal predispositions such as interest in climate change and personal concern about it. In addition to that, it is demonstrated that media can affect attitudes on global climate change both in a positive and in a negative way.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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