We use a discourse network analysis approach to answer two questions about national news coverage of climate change policy debate in Canada during the period 2006–2010. First, what is the media visibility of actors relevant to policy development and advocacy on climate change? Second, given the political and economic context of climate policy-making in Canada, does greater or lesser media visibility reflect effectiveness in climate policy advocacy? Multiple interpretive frameworks characterize Canadian political discourse about climate change, with fragmentation between the federal government, opposition political parties, provincial governments, and environmental organizations. Contrary to expectations, environmental organizations had high levels of media visibility while the relative invisibility of fossil fuel corporations was notable in the media coverage of Canadian climate discussions. Our findings challenge optimistic accounts of the relationship between media power and political power, and suggest that media power does not necessarily translate to political efficacy.
Headliner that summarizes your article in a catchy phrase: For environmental movements and corporations with a vested interest in climate politics, high media visibility does not necessarily translate into political efficacy.