Spreading the news on carbon capture and storage: A state-level comparison of US media

Andrea M. Feldpausch-Parker, Chara J. Ragland, Leah L. Melnick, Rumika Chaudhry, Damon M. Hall, Tarla R. Peterson, Jennie C. Stephens, Elizabeth J Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has received abundant federal support in the USA as an energy technology to mitigate climate change, yet its position within the energy system remains uncertain. Because media play a significant role in shaping public conversations about science and technology, we analyzed media portrayal of CCS in newspapers from four strategically selected states. We grounded the analysis in Luhmann's theory of social functions, operationalized through the socio-political evaluation of energy deployment (SPEED) framework. Coverage emphasized economic, political/legal, and technical functions and focused on benefits, rather than risks of adoption. Although news coverage connected CCS with climate change, the connection was constrained by political/legal functions. Media responses to this constraint indicate how communication across multiple social functions may influence deployment of energy technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-354
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Communication
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for financial support of this research from the National Science Foundation’s Science and Society Program (NSF-SES-0724257).

Keywords

  • anthropogenic climate change
  • energy
  • fossil fuels
  • technology diffusion

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