Representing climate change on public service television: A case study. Academic Article uri icon


  • Publicly funded broadcasters with a track record in science programming would appear ideally placed to represent climate change to the lay public. Free from the constraints of vested interests and the economic imperative, public service providers are better equipped to represent the scientific, social and economic aspects of climate change than commercial media, where ownership conglomeration, corporate lobbyists and online competition have driven increasingly tabloid coverage with an emphasis on controversy. This prime-time snapshot of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's main television channel explores how the structural/rhetorical conventions of three established public service genres - a science programme, a documentary and a live public affairs talk show - impact on the representation of anthropogenic climate change. The study findings note implications for public trust, and discuss possibilities for innovation in the interests of better public understanding of climate change.

publication date

  • 2017