Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

5-2019

Abstract

The media plays a large role in what issues percolate with the American public and subsequently what issues are taken up in Congress as a political priority. With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, climate change has become one of many issues facing an uncertain political future. President Trump has acted to undo many efforts to curb climate change undertaken by the Obama Administration, including most notably the announcement of the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan. Top U.S. newspapers were examined to determine how coverage around climate change has shifted during the first year of the Trump Administration as compared to the final year of the Obama Administration, particularly looking at frequency, piece type (article, opinion, editorial), science-based content, and focus point of the news piece. Two local papers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were examined to determine how coverage in smaller papers, with less resources than national papers, has changed. While national coverage remained similar, if not greater than the preceding year, the local papers observed a significant drop in coverage.

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Date Posted: 16 May 2019