Submitted by Stephanie Bennett, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Seeking peer reviewers for an article that is moving forward for publication in a journal focused on communication, media, and the environment. If you are able to take a little bit of time to offer feedback, it would be much appreciated. Please provide your name and email address as soon as possible. Thank you. [email protected]
Title: Framing the Wild: A Content Analysis of Environmental News Coverage During the 2020 Coronavirus Lockdowns
Abstract: News media portrayals of the natural world frame our perceptions and policies related to the environment. Studying such coverage brings insight for how meaning is assigned to humanity’s relationship with nature and wildlife. Through qualitative content analysis, this study examines digital news articles about the environment, published during the global lockdowns from March to September 2020, due to the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With framing as a theoretical background, environmental claims about the impact of humanity being locked down were analyzed. Findings revealed that four frames were generated in connection to (1) wildlife behavior, (2) a new normal post-COVID, (3) climate change being displaced, and (4) human-nature symbiosis. The results provide a more nuanced understanding of how news media present the complex relationship between humanity and nature, which tends to illustrate negative and hostile associations. This furthers the notion that news media framing can restrict and limit perspectives, even if unintended, and arguably weaken the potential for advancement within the environmental movement.