Skip to main content

Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Advanced Search

Climate change and ‘climategate’ in online reader comments: a mixed methods study

Koteyko, Nelya; Jaspal, Rusi; Nerlich, Brigitte

Authors

Nelya Koteyko nk158@le.ac.uk

Rusi Jaspal

Brigitte Nerlich brigitte.nerlich@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

Climate change has rarely been out of the public spotlight in the first decade of this century. The high-profile international meetings and controversies such as ‘climategate’ have highlighted the fact
that it is as much a political issue as it is a scientific one, while also drawing our attention to the role
of social media in reflecting, promoting or resisting such politicisation. In this article, we propose
a framework for analysing one type of social media venue that so far has received little attention
from social scientists – online reader comments. Like media reporting on climate change, reader
comments on this reporting contribute to the diverse, complex and contested discourses on climate
change, and can reveal the meanings and discursive resources brought to the ongoing debate by
laypeople rather than political elites. The proposed framework draws on research in computer-
mediated communication, corpus linguistics and discourse analysis and takes into account both the
content of such ‘lay talk’ and its linguistic characteristics within the specific parameters of the
web-based context. Using word frequencies, qualitative study of co-text and user ratings, we analyse
a large volume of comments published on the UK tabloid newspaper website at two different points
in time – before and after the East Anglia controversy. The results reveal how stereotypes of science
and politics are appropriated in this type of discourse, how readers’ constructions of climate science
have changed after ‘climategate’, and how climate-sceptic arguments are adopted and contested in
computer-mediated peer-to-peer interaction.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Journal Geographical Journal
Print ISSN 0016-7398
Electronic ISSN 0016-7398
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 179
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Koteyko, N., Jaspal, R., & Nerlich, B. (2013). Climate change and ‘climategate’ in online reader comments: a mixed methods study. Geographical Journal, 179(1), doi:10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00479.x
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00479.x
Publisher URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-4959.2012.00479.x/abstract;jsessionid=5F8670993A8B8A4EB6FCD4EBF6640EFA.f01t03
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: N. Koteyko, R. Jaspal & B. Nerlich, Climate change and ‘climategate’ in online reader comments: a mixed methods study, Geographical Journal, 179(1) 2013, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.11...1475-4959.2012.00479.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving'.

Files

climategate_in_reader_comments_revisionbn.pdf (91 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





Downloadable Citations

;