Toby Bolsen and Matthew A. Shapiro (2018) “The U.S. News Media, Polarization on Climate Change, and Pathways to Effective Communication,” Environmental Communication, 12(2): 149-163.


The news media are a central source of information about climate change for most people. Through frames, media transmit information that shape how people understand climate change as well as the actions they are ultimately willing to support to address the problem. This article reviews the rise of climate change in the US news media and the emergence of related frames in public discourse. In doing so, it traces the roots of partisan divisions over climate change and highlights the role that events, journalistic practices, technological changes, and individual-level factors such as ideological and partisan identity have played in fostering polarization. The article concludes by identifying the core challenges facing communicators who seek to build consensus for action on climate change and highlights the most viable solutions for achieving success.