1st Edition

Media and Climate Change Making Sense of Press Narratives

By Deepti Ganapathy Copyright 2022
    130 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    130 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    130 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book looks at the media’s coverage of Climate Change and investigates its role in representing the complex realities of climate uncertainties and its effects on communities and the environment.

    This book explores the socioeconomic and cultural understanding of climate issues and the influence of environment communication via the news and the public response to it. It also examines the position of the media as a facilitator between scientists, policy makers and the public. Drawing extensively from case studies, personal interviews, comparative analysis of international climate coverage and a close reading of newspaper reports and archives, the author studies the pattern and frequency of climate coverage in the Indian media and their outcomes. With a special focus on the Western Ghats, the book discusses the political rhetoric, policy parameters and events that trigger a debate about development over biodiversity crisis and environmental risks in India.

    This book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of environmental studies, especially Climate Change, media studies, public policy and South Asian studies, as well as conscientious citizens who deeply care for the environment.

    List of Figures. Preface. Acknowledgements. 1 Why report Climate Change? 2 Is the media shying away from covering climate change issues? 3 Comparative analysis of two Indian broadsheets 4 Mediatization of Press narratives 5 Climate Change Communication 6 Creating community-driven reports on Climate Change 7 Reimagining the narrative of Climate Change. References. Appendix. Index.


    Deepti Ganapathy is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and a former journalist who has widely covered and reported on infrastructure, health, women’s issues, education and the environment. She holds a PhD in Communication and Journalism from the University of Mysore. She has received recognition for her work, including Journalist of the Month (February 2017) from the International Journalists’ Network (ijnet), and was a finalist for the CNN Young Journalist Award (2007), among others. She was appointed Visiting Scholar at the University of California San Diego (2019) and was a Rotary GSE Fellow (2009) to New Zealand. She has presented her work at leading international conferences and given academic talks to government and business organizations. She has published over 1,000 articles across academic journals, book chapters and mainstream media. Her thought leadership articles and guest blogs continue to appear in popular newspapers and magazines, such as Forbes, Deccan Herald, The Times of India, The Indian Express and The Economic Times.

    'Deepti Ganapathy’s writing is accessible – which makes this book relevant to politicians, journalists, academics, climate activists and even artists like me. It provides a balanced and informed analysis of India’s environmental governance that focuses on managing the impacts of development while staring at a biodiversity crisis. With a much needed positive tone and in a lucid manner, the reader gains a deep and rich insight on the conundrum that the media faces while mediating between the policy makers and environmentalists as they unravel the multidimensional and complex nature of climate change in India.' 

    Ricky Kej, Grammy Award Winner, UNCCD "Land Ambassador"

    ‘In this engaging and comprehensive book, Deepti Ganapathy looks at climate change in the unique and fascinating locale – the Western Ghats, home to around 50 million people. This community is nestled in an ecosystem that is defined as one of the world’s eight "hottest hotspots" of biological diversity. How does climate change impact this vulnerable part of the world, and how is it understood by its inhabitants?  Focusing more on the latter question, Ganapathy explores press narratives and media reporting of climate change and how they impact public and political discourse. 

    The media act as a historical record relevant to its readership. Far from merely observer, the media is both an outcome and an antecedent of social debate. Recognizing this duality, it is vital to recognize, as Ganapathy does, that the media is an organizational actor whose output is subject to multiple political pressures. The book appropriately takes an expansive view of what we call "media" today, examining both traditional and digital media. And, in a very interesting twist, explores how the "digital divide" poses challenges for marginalized communities to have voice in the climate debate in India. And yet, as Ganapathy shows, these communities (specifically forest dwellers) have the closest connection to the environment and are "rich storehouses of knowledge that has been passed down from generations." In a unique and important facet of this book, Ganapathy explores how they construe and make sense of the news coverage related to climate change and how can they become effective activists in this narrative if the media would mine them as a credible source. Overall, this book can lead to collective Climate Action. I recommend this book for both scholars and practitioners alike.’ 

    Professor Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan and author of The Engaged Scholar (2021)

    ‘The media has a critical role in engaging the public on the implications of climate change. This book plays an important role in setting out the evolving recognition of this role. Most people understand key issues based on what they see in the media; this places an important responsibility on journalists to be evidence based in their representations. This helps key policy initiatives gain public support. Protecting a global jewel like the Western Ghats is the prize if this is achieved, and that seems entirely worthwhile!’

    Dr Marie Doole, Environment policy researcher, New Zealand