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Hmielorz, A., Löser, N.. Klimawandel und seine Präsenz in regionalen Medien - Eine Analyse der Ostsee-Zeitung. In: Schernewski, G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 11-20. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


Climate change and its presence in regional media: An analysis of the Ostsee-Zeitung The global climate change was strongly discussed in media in the last years. This is related to the consequences of climate change noted in the whole world. Heat periods, floods, storms as well as social, economical and ecological consequences, like destruction of infrastructure or changes in species assemblage of flora and fauna occur strongly and frequently. To improve the awareness about effects of climate change and its consequences it is important to identify them faster and to communicate related risks. So far, climate change has been rarely discussed on the regional level. But in general media have a decisive role according handling climate change. They inform the public and have an important contribution to raise awareness about climate change. Regional examples can force awareness by the own consternation and help to create an acceptance towards required measures for reduction and adaptation of climate change (Hmielorz & Löser 2006). To find out which significance climate change and its consequences have and how they are discussed in the public a media analysis of the German newspaper “Ostsee-Zeitung” was carried out. Newspapers are suited very good for media analyses because of being up-to-date and their frequent reporting about regional and supraregional tidings. The analysis bases on an internet research using an online archive. This archive is considered as an indicator for the printed version of the newspaper. The newspaper articles are collected in an online archive with different search functions that allows a simplified search of articles. The newspaper analysis covers the period between January 2000 and May 2006. On the basis of 15 keywords the archive was searched for articles with relevance to climate. Additionally to the media analysis 4 journalists of the newspaper have been interviewed. In the online archive of the German “Ostsee-Zeitung” 370 articles with relevance to climate were found. Thereof 138 refer to a regional level (with reference to the German Oder estuary) and 232 articles refer to a supraregional level (with reference to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and beyond). The climate articles of the regional level were divided into five categories: (a) heat and draught; (b) flood and flood protection; (c) climate change; (d) weather and (e) others (like blue-green algae, climate and carbon-dioxide and nature protection). Within the media analysis we investigated the number of articles about regional tourism versus climate and the development of the numbers of regional and supraregional articles per year. We also observed the category climate change to figure out in which contents it is discussed. The analysis shows that readers of the “Ostsee-Zeitung” are unilaterally informed about the climate and the climate change. The topic is mostly discussed in connection with weather, its consequences and other short term changes. The topic climate change is insufficiently communicated, even though the topic’s importance and complexity require an elaborated coverage. To develop awareness about climate change more specified articles have to be published and/or other types of media have to be used by consumers.

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