Date of Award

Summer 7-25-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Shu-Ling Chen Bergreen

Second Advisor

Kelty Logan

Third Advisor

Maxwell T. Boykoff

Abstract

The study of climate change communications is an area of research that’s relatively new, changing and considerably important as the climate itself evolves. Analyses of climate change in the media have examined the impact of ideology, the power dynamics and politics over who speaks for the climate, and implications of the way climate change is framed. This study media effects and climate change communications, in order to showcase the unique “tale of two coastal cities,” considering a case study that compares New York City, New York and New Orleans, Louisiana. The study first explores a background of each region’s political ecology, including the landscapes at risk as well as the political scape to briefly discuss regional policy, culture, and news. Theoretical perspectives draw upon Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault to consider the roles of ideology and power, while analyzing the cultural structure of each region. Second, the literature review tracks previous scholarship on framing analysis and climate communications. Third, a quantitative content analysis compares the coverage of sea level rise in two newspapers, The New York Times and the Times Picayune, over a ten-year time span with consideration of the impacts that Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy had on the framing and distribution of climate news. Finally, the study concludes with a discussion of the analysis and consideration of framing, power and ideology.

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