Media effects on opinions about climate change mitigation and the Norwegian petroleum industry
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With this thesis I aim to investigate the media influences on Norwegian public opinions on climate change mitigation policies, with a particular emphasis on mitigation policies that target the Norwegian petroleum industry. This is acheived within a theoretical framework that is built to fit both the media and trust as important influences on public opinion. Drawing on theories of motivated reasoning, media representation, and trust in a politically legitimating capacity, I study Norwegian survey data from the first wave of the Norwegian citizen panel. The results show that people relying on TV for their news update are more prone to be negative toward climate change mitigation policies that target the petroleum industry, whereas people who read the newspapers and use Twitter are positive toward the proposed policies. In addition, people who are supportive of mitigation policies targeting the petroleum industry do not trust the Norwegian cabinet, but they do trust other people. The results are the opposite when the respondents are unsupportive of the proposed policies. These findings suggests first, that there might be substantial differences between the content of the TV news as compared to the newspapers. Second, that the petroleum industry rises the stakes, and talking about climate change and the petroleum industry at the same time engages people more than if industries in general are discussed. Third, political trust may be built on trust norms that emphasize values such as national economic development and competitiveness, which renders much support for the Norwegian petroleum industry among the public, and will make it hard to establish policies that are not reciprocated by other countries. On the other hand, the level of social trust is relatively high, which may indicate that establishing collective action on climate change is well within the realm of the possible.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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