The media tell society not only what issues to think about, but also how to think about those issues, whether it’s intentional or not. One way this happens is through framing — the terms, ideas and perspective used by media in the attempt to represent a slice of reality. In stories about climate change, media frame the issue differently depending on the country. The most consistent predictor of how media in a given country will frame climate change, according to new research, is gross domestic product per capita.

The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, found that richer nations tend to frame climate change as a political issue, while poorer countries frame it as an international relations issue, focusing more on natural consequences.

“Media can tell people what to think about. At the same time, framing can have an effect on how people think about certain issues,” Hong Vu, assistant professor of journalism at The University of Kansas and the study’s lead author, told KU Today. “Not only can framing have an impact onhow an issue is perceived but on whether and how policy is made on the issue. With big data, machine-learning techniques, we were able to analyze a large amount of media climate change coverage from 45 countries and territories from 2011 to 2015.”  […]