The Role of The Media in Addressing Climate Change with Alan Rusbridger

alan rusbridger

This event focuses on the relationship between media and climate change, evaluating the ways in which different media outlets and modes of reporting can affect people’s perception of the issue, and thus, how it influences their response.

The media has played a critical role in fuelling climate denialism, starting in the 1970s and 80s, the product of which we still see most prominently in America today. Lack of coverage has also been important in contributing to the lack of public awareness and concern on the issue up until recently. This lack of public concern has in turned affected political priorities relegating climate change to a second-thought issue in most parties’ agendas. Famously the Murdoch press has been deeply criticised for its long-held failure to report on climate change, leading XR protesters to barricade the Murdoch printing press in October 2020. Social media has helped to remedy some of these shortcomings by democratising knowledge sharing and dissemination. At the same time, social media has also allowed the rise and mainstreaming of “fake news” and conspiracy theories, as we are seeing with the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Some of the questions we will cover include:

Considering the politicisation of climate change, to what extent can the media report objectively on the issue without seeming to fall into partisanship or opportunism? What is the role of social media in communicating the issue of climate change and facilitating the solutions to it? Has social media been a force for good for climate change? How has the notion of ‘fake news’ affected the mainstream media, and their perceived legitimacy and what are the implications of this shift for the global climate?

To help us answer these questions, we are delighted to welcome Alan Rusbridger, former Editor in Chief of the Guardian from 1995-2015.

Mr Rusbridger is currently Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where he started the Pioneering Foundation Year. He is also Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. During his time at the Guardian, both he and the paper won numerous awards, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism. The Guardian grew from a printed paper with a circulation of 400,000 to a leading digital news organisation with 150m browsers a month around the world. He launched now-profitable editions in Australia and the US as well as a membership scheme which now has 1m Guardian readers paying for content.

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You can also access the event by directly going onto our YouTube channel and waiting for the live-stream to start at 6pm:

You can find more about our speaker at the following link: