University of Tasmania

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Engaged journalism and climate change: lessons from an audience-led, locally focused Australian collaboration

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 16:53 authored by Jocelyn NettlefoldJocelyn Nettlefold, Gretta PeclGretta Pecl
Strengthening media coverage of climate change is a top news and societal priority. The magnitude and impact of global warming and rising sea levels is challenging to communicate, and to comprehend, at global and local scales. Media efforts are frustrated by a myriad of factors, including increased audience reliance on social media for news and information and how that can be compromised by brevity or misinformation. Scientific complexity, and political and cultural conflict, along with psychological factors also shape how people engage with climate issues. The situation is exacerbated by a dramatic decline in the number of print and TV local news outlets and loss of journalism jobs, and rising consumer news avoidance and public distaste for negative coverage. Curious Climate is an engaged journalism experiment by Australia’s public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), in collaboration with scientific organisations in the island state of Tasmania. The ABC asked the public for climate change questions which were answered with content and events led by scientists. Survey data from audiences and journalists contributes empirical evidence on how such new approaches to audience-led local journalism can deliver relevant local news, expand audiences, and provide trusted, relevant sources of information on complex issues.


Publication title

Journalism Practice








School of Social Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Routledge

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

The media; Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts); Understanding climate change not elsewhere classified