iceberg melting in water

Nordic Journal of Media Studies: Media and the Climate Crisis

NEW PUBLICATION | 17 August 2021

A new issue of Nordic Journal of Media Studies, entitled “Media and the Climate Crisis” has just been published. The issue presents a set of articles that address the intersection of media and the climate crisis from many angles and with a diversity of data, methods, and conceptual frameworks.

Recent years have seen another peak in global media attention to climate change. Driven by increasingly dire news about extreme weather, growing demands of systemic adaptation and a new wave political activism, the current situation has increasingly been framed as a climate crisis.

This sense of crisis, urgency and the fact that future mitigation and adaptation demands will saturate policy debates and everyday life present communication challenges that cut across all media forms and platforms. Providing a better and more nuanced understanding of how the climate crisis challenges old communication and media structures, institutions and practices – and opens new opportunities – is a crucial task for scholars.  

The articles in the new NJMS special issue tackle this challenge and its diversity. For instance, they underline how a sense of crisis, the demand for action and new ways of thinking can be evoked by focusing on visualisations of climate change. They map the political divisions and how they play out in the social media. They explore new methods and seek to present new theoretical frames for making sense of the current conjuncture. They also delve into the particular critical potentialities of specific media genres, from local journalism to videogames.

“I think the issue offers an interesting package. In different ways, many of the articles break a bit of new ground on climate-media research: they use a diverse set of materials and methodological tools, focus on less covered genres and some suggest provocative conceptual frames” says Risto Kunelius, one of the Special Issue editors and professor in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki.

The issue is wrapped up by a short interview with one of the defining figures in the field of climate communication – Maxwell Boykoff is the director of the Environmental Studies program and fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Editors of this issue are Risto Kunelius and Anna Roosvall, Professor in Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University.


Nordic Journal of Media Studies is a peer-reviewed international publication dedicated to media research, published by Nordicom. The journal is a meeting place for Nordic, European, and global perspectives on media studies.