Scientific Views on Climate Change As Presented in Print Media

Nedeljko Todorović, Dragana Vujović

Digitizing old physical newspapers, including content discussing various scientific fields, makes it easier to find articles from various periods and enables access to a significant quantity of varied studies, opinions that would otherwise prove difficult to track down in hard copy. Do newspaper articles objectively reflect, or accurately depict, ongoing dialogs in a given scientific field? If a certain scientific opinion is continually represented by a number of articles in a number of different media outlets, this gives the general public the impression that there is a consensus in that scientific community. When mainstream scientific views change, then popular news articles expressing these newly established opinions prevail. Typically, opinions that run contrary to the dominant narrative are rarely ever published in popular newspapers and magazines. However, this omission of alternative views is not due to alternative perspectives not existing. The numerous articles on rapid climate change and global warming written in the last three decades are a good example to take note of. Unlike today, half a century ago the majority of meteorological articles and studies were focused on the topic of global cooling. The authors of these newspaper and magazine articles were likely not climate experts, but journalists who merely conveyed the opinions of meteorologists and climatologists.