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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - January 2023

How to fix people's perception that climate news is not useful?

One of the things we have talked about many times before is the growing trend that people are increasingly turning away from the news (across almost all countries), and the effect of that is extremely problematic.

Not only does it create a societal problem, where the likelihood of people being misinformed grows, but it's a massive problem for us as an industry.

I have written about this problem in many articles, for instance, I talked about it most recently in "Addressing news avoidance will help every other element of publishing". But, one of the questions I often get when I write about this is how publishers can translate this into something more specific.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I shared this graph from the Reuters Institute, about why people are avoiding news about climate change.

This is all very interesting, but what do we actually do about it? Not in theory or in general. But specifically. What changes should we make right now to make this useful to people again?

Well, let's talk about that.

The patterns behind what people say

One of the main problems with studies like the one above is that, while it tells us what people say, it doesn't tell us why.

For instance, when people say that they think climate coverage is biased, we have to ask why is that? The answer is a combination of many factors, but the most obvious one is that they say this because they see the coverage as an extension of the political coverage, and nothing in those stories is personally identifiable.

Let me give you an example:

 
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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé

 

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