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Are the impacts of food systems on climate change being reported by the media? An Australian media analysis

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posted on 2024-06-05, 07:32 authored by N Atkinson, M Ferguson, Cherie RussellCherie Russell, K Cullerton
Abstract Objective: Food systems are a major contributor to climate change, producing one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, public knowledge of food systems’ contributions to climate change is low. One reason for low public awareness may be limited media coverage of the issue. To investigate this, we conducted a media analysis examining coverage of food systems and their contribution to climate change in Australian newspapers. Design: We analysed climate change articles from twelve Australian newspapers between 2011 and 2021, sourced from Factiva. We explored the volume and frequency of climate change articles that mentioned food systems and their contributions to climate change, as well as the level of focus on food systems. Setting: Australia. Participants: N/A. Results: Of the 2892 articles included, only 5 % mentioned the contributions of food systems to climate change, with the majority highlighting food production as the main contributor, followed by food consumption. Conversely, 8 % mentioned the impact of climate change on food systems. Conclusions: Though newspaper coverage of food systems’ effects on climate change is increasing, coverage of the issue remains limited. As newspapers play a key role in increasing public and political awareness of matters, the findings provide valuable insights for advocates wishing to increase engagement on the issue. Increased media coverage may raise public awareness and encourage action by policymakers. Collaboration between public health and environmental stakeholders to increase public knowledge of the relationship between food systems and climate change is recommended.

History

Journal

Public Health Nutrition

Volume

26

Article number

PII S1368980023000800

Pagination

1706-1714

Location

Cambridge, Eng.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1368-9800

eISSN

1475-2727

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

8

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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