Julie Doyle, University of Brighton Professor of Media and Communication, said: “Media coverage of Greta Thunberg and the youth climate strikes shows the increasing visibility of young people. Often characterised in the news as burdened with climate impacts – while denied a voice and rendered powerless – young people are now seizing hold of the narrative and demanding action from adults in power.”
She said media stories must discuss system change as way of tackling climate change and should involve young people: “This cultural task is not for the future, it must begin now.”
And Professor Doyle, from the university’s School of Media called on mainstream media not to focus solely on “the descent into climate breakdown” but to explore alternatives to carbon-intensive economies.
Writing in The Conversation, the news site written by academics, Professor Doyle said: “Young people need media stories about climate change that make it relevant to their everyday lives and don’t present their future as a foregone conclusion.”
Her article has been reprinted in media in China, Canada and Ireland.