Articles | Volume 5, issue 3
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed underthe Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Is there a climate change reporting bias? A case study of English-language news articles, 2017–2022
- Final revised paper (published on 22 Sep 2022)
- Preprint (discussion started on 11 Apr 2022)
Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor |
: Report abuse
RC1: 'Comment on gc-2022-8', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 May 2022
- AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Chloe Brimicombe, 13 May 2022
RC2: 'Comment on gc-2022-8', Shiba Subedi, 19 Jun 2022
- AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Chloe Brimicombe, 05 Jul 2022
Peer review completion
AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (25 Jul 2022) by Tiziana Lanza
AR by Chloe Brimicombe on behalf of the Authors (27 Jul 2022)  Author's response Author's tracked changes Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (12 Aug 2022) by Tiziana Lanza
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (17 Aug 2022) by Solmaz Mohadjer(Executive Editor)
AR by Chloe Brimicombe on behalf of the Authors (18 Aug 2022)  Author's response Author's tracked changes Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (25 Aug 2022) by Solmaz Mohadjer
ED: Publish as is (25 Aug 2022) by Solmaz Mohadjer(Executive Editor)
AR by Chloe Brimicombe on behalf of the Authors (26 Aug 2022)  Author's response Manuscript
GC-2022-8: Storming the news media…
This is an interesting topic and deserves critical attention. Yet the present manuscript muddles several things together, which makes it difficult to discern if the research aims have been met, and what the overall take-home messages are. Below I have made some suggestions to improve the readability of the piece.
First, I think the title needs to be revised. Unless you have read the article it’s unclear what the ‘storming the news media’ means, and even after reading the article I’m not sure this is the central finding. A title that is clearer (and more descriptive) would be preferable. For example, “Is there a climate change reporting bias? A case study of English language news articles, 2017-2022”.
Second, the results section is very hard to read. I had to read many sentences several times to fully understand what was being communicated. My advice is to divide the results section into three parts: (1) have the number of weather hazards news article increased since 2017?; (2) which weather hazards receive the most attention in news articles?; and (3) how often is climate change discussed in these news articles in relation to weather hazards?. Each section could be discussed in 3 or 4 sentences, giving more space for the discussion.
Third, the conclusion should be rewritten. Rather than repeat the findings, tell the reader what the findings mean and why they matter. Why does it matter if this a bias in reporting extreme weather events? Is it because people may be left unprepared for one risk over another? Money may be invested in one problem compared to another? Or because invisible risks continue to persist until they reach a critical tipping point? Without this, does it matter if floods are reported more than heatwaves? And what should be done about this?
Lastly, there are some questionable calculations throughout the manuscript, where the aggregate findings are correlated with other data points. I’m mindful that, on face value, the calculations may be a little misleading, and worst, meaningless (see comments below). It’s a pity that no information is provided on where the weather hazards occurred, or where the news articles focus their attention. Do they, for example, only report on storms in Europe? Overall, I think the paper is trying to do too much. My advice is to strip back much of the results and wider findings and concentrate on what was done, what is reliable, and what this tells us. Also, in trying an experimental analysis, what can other researchers learn from this experience?
Below are other points that need to be addressed: