Oil pipelines, climate change, and frames: Local news coverage of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project in northern Minnesota

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Oil pipelines, climate change, and frames: Local news coverage of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project in northern Minnesota

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2020-12

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Communications scholars have proposed that the U.S. media’s depictions of climate change have contributed to (often partisan) public disengagement and doubt about the issue. This quantitative framing content analysis shifts analytical focus from climate change news in large media outlets to local coverage of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project in northern Minnesota. The study asks how local newspapers define the Enbridge Line 3 project and whether their coverage introduces climate change discussions that may either repair or damage climate change opinions. Its tentative findings suggest that (in line with previous research) local news coverage depicted Line 3 most often through government/politics, economic, and environmental frames and rarely discussed climate change. Climate change depictions (as examined here) do not suggest broad potential to shift public opinions on the topic. More detailed analyses on these features could signal divergences and are suggested for future study.

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University of Minnesota M.A. thesis.December 2020. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Christopher Terry. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 273 pages.

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Ernt, Lauren. (2020). Oil pipelines, climate change, and frames: Local news coverage of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project in northern Minnesota. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/218660.

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