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Spirals of Attention: Issue Dynamics in Environmental News Reporting Over 50 Years

Conference contribution
Authors Monika Djerf-Pierre
Published in Paper presented at the International Communication Association (ICA) Conference in Phoenix Arizona, May 24-28 2012
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords environmental journalism, environmental news, issue attention cycles, issue dynamics, issue interaction
Subject categories Media and Communications


This article examines the dynamic relationship between issues in environmental news reporting. The focus of the study is on issue interactions within a single news program over a fifty year period, covering all news stories on environmental issues in the main public service news program in Swedish television 1961-2010. The analysis shows a positive correlation between levels of attention on different environmental issues; intense focus on one category of environmental issues does not crowd out other environmental concerns in the news. On the contrary, a surge in interest to one category of environmental problems generates attention to other environmental issues as well.

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