Sustainable media events? Production and discursive effects of staged global political media events in the area of climate change

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Wessler, Hartmut (Universität Mannheim)
Publication Date
  • Principal investigator (Data Collector)
  • ZA:
    • Communication, Public Opinion, Media
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Mass media
  • Abstract

    The project investigates (a) how staged global political media events (i.e. the global climate summits) are produced, and (b) which discursive effects these events have on national climate debates in the media of five leading democratic countries around the world, namely the U.S., Germany, India, South Africa and Brazil. I. Formal and general content related categories 1. Formal variables: article-ID; coder-ID; title (main headline of the article); date of publication; media outlet (newspaper, magazine or news website in which the article was published); length of the article; format of the article (fact-based article, opinion-based article, interview, press review, stand-alone visual image as an independent article, letter to the editor, other); placement of the article (front page article or cover story, article inside the newspaper and magazine referenced on the front page, article inside the newspaper and magazine without reference on the front page); section of newspaper, magazine and news website; author of the article. 2. Content variables: article trigger (institutional events, unpremeditated (unplanned) events, communicative events, other event); UN Climate Change Conferences (COPs) reference; country references; international / transnational institutional references. II. Visual level 1. Formal variables: visual present; photo present; number of visual images; number of photos; visual image-ID, type of visual image (photograph, photomontage, chart, map or table, cartoon / caricature, official logo of COP, topical vignette by newspaper or magazine); source of visual image. 2. Visual framing (if the visual image is a photograph or photomontage): denotative level: institutional reference depicted in the photo; content of the photo: urban landscape, natural landscape (woods, mountains and/ or lake, plants and/ or grassland / meadow), ocean and/or ocean coast, snow, ice, glacier, desert or steppe, polar bear, other animals, transportation or conventional traffic, agriculture, conventional energy generation, green technology, other industry / technology, PR stunt installation; person(s) depicted in the photo: political actor, NGO representative(s), business representatives, scientists, celebrities, police / security personnel, ordinary citizen(s), other type of person; origin of depicted person; activity of depicted person (e.g. symbolic activity, demonstration and other form of protest, etc.); location of depicted scene. Stylistic level: camera angle, distance / field size of photo. III. Narration: 1. Narrative characteristics: narratively (dramatization, emotion, narrative personalization, fictionalization, stylistic ornamentation); narrative genre: overall theme (everyday business, failure after struggle, triumph over adversity, struggle over destiny or planet or civilization, political or social conflict); tone (fatalistic, optimistic, unexcited, neutral, passionate, pessimistic); expected outcome; no conceivable outcome. 2. Character specification: character as victim: narrative role: victim present; victim type; victim name; victim action taken; character as villain: narrative role: villain present; villain type; villain name; villain action taken; character as hero: narrative role: hero present; hero type; hero name; hero action taken; sum of all actors in the article; sum of NGO representatives, politicians, representatives, international organizations, business representatives, scientists, journalists, citizens, and other actors. IV. Actor-statement level Actors: actor-statement-ID; name of the actor; type of actor; occupation / office of actor; origin of actor; type of quotation; prominence of actor-statement; type of ´we´ reference; frames: denial of reality of global warming; denial of problematic character / urgency of action; cntral aspect of problem definition: increase of temperature, extreme weather, melting ice or glaciers / rising sea levels, economic opportunities due to global warming, economic difficulties and hardships due to global warming, other societal consequences; causal attribution (situations or processes the actor identifies as causing or contributing to global warming): natural causes; anthropogenic causes (burning of fossil fuels / greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, colliding national interests, other causes; countries responsible for causing global warming; endorsed and rejected remedies (no action should be taken, clean energy, reforestation and avoided deforestation); adaption action: adaption in agricultural production; adjusting political process: adoption of new legally binding, all-inclusive treaty on emission cuts; stronger focus on local efforts / working on the ground; other measures: financial assistance to disadvantaged countries; attributed responsibility for solving the problem. Additionally coded was: country; COP (COP 16 Cancun, COP 17 Durban, COP 18 Doha, COP 19 Warsaw); 4 Cluster Solution Frames (political dispute, common sense, global warming victims, sustainable energy).
Temporal Coverage
  • 2010-11 / 2013-12
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
  • United States (US)
  • India (IN)
  • Brazil (BR)
  • South Africa (ZA)
Sampled Universe
All media reports about the United Nations Climate Change Summits 2010 (Cancún), 2011 (Durban), 2012 (Doha), and 2013 (Warsaw) in the two national media outlets (quality newspapers and weekly magazines) in the five aforementioned countries with the highest circulation.
Sampling Procedure Comment: Total universe/Complete Enumeration
Collection Mode
  • Content Coding
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 163
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA6768 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Lück, Julia; Wessler, Hartmut; Wozniak, Antal; Lycariao, Diogenes (2016): Counterbalancing global media frames with nationally colored narratives: A comparative study of news narratives and news framing in the climate change coverage of five countries. Journalism (online first). doi: 10.1177/1464884916680372
  • Wozniak, Antal; Wessler, Hartmut; Lück, Julia (2016): Who prevails in the visual framing contest about the United Nations Climate Change Conferences? Journalism Studies, 1-20.
  • Wessler, Hartmut; Wozniak, Antal; Hofer, Lutz; Lück, Julia (2016): Global multimodal news frames on climate change. A comparison of five democracies around the world. International Journal of Press/Politics 21(4), 423–445. doi:10.1177/1940161216661848
  • Wozniak, Antal; Lück, Julia; Wessler, Hartmut (2015): Frames, stories, and images: The advantages of a multimodal approach in comparative media content research on climate change. Environmental Communication 9(4), 469-490.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 16 | Registration Date: 2017-03-27