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Green metacycles of attention: Reassessing the attention cycles of environmental news reporting 1961–2010

Journal article
Authors Monika Djerf-Pierre
Published in Public Understanding of Science
Volume 22
Issue 4
Pages 495-512
ISSN 0963-6625
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 495-512
Language en
Keywords environmental journalism, environmental reporting, enviromental news, issue dynamics, issue attention cycles
Subject categories Media and Communications


This article examines the longitudinal development of environmental news reporting in Swedish television over an extended period of time, 1961–2010. It returns to Anthony Downs’s (1972) seminal article on issue attention cycles when analyzing the cyclic nature of environmental news reporting and advances the issue attention cycle framework by introducing the concept of metacycles as it explores the trajectory of environmental news reporting. Metacycles refers to the major fluctuations in attention to the entire domain of environmental issues over time, while issue cycles refer to the oscillation in attention pertaining to single issues. The article analyzes the pattern of the metacycles, and investigates how cycles of attention to individual issues contribute to the shaping of the environmental metacycles in the news.

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