Publications

Peer-reviewed publications:

Newman, T.P. (2016). Tracking the release of IPCC AR5 on Twitter. Public Understanding of Science. DOI:10.1177/0963662516628477.

Using the immediate release of the Working Group 1 Summary for Policymakers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report as a case study, this article seeks to describe what type of actors were most active during the summary release, the substance of the most propagated tweets during the summary release, and the media sources that attracted the most attention during the summary release. The results from the study suggest that non-elite actors, such as individual bloggers and concerned citizens, accounted for the majority of the most propagated tweets in the sample. This study also finds that the majority of the most propagated tweets in the sample focused on public understanding of the report. Finally, while mainstream media sources were the most frequently discussed media sources, a number of new media and science news and information sources compete for audience attention.

Newman, T.P. & Fernandes, R. (2015).A Re-assessment of Factors Associated with Environmental Concern and Behavior using the 2010 General Social Survey. Environmental Education Research. DOI:10.1080/13504622.2014.999227

Abstract:

The associations between social and psychological influences and environmental attitudes, intentions and behavior have generated considerable interest, both in the fields of environmental behavior and of environmental education. We use the 2010 General Social Survey (GSS) to study these associations and expand the scope of earlier studies by including additional measures across social demo- graphic, social psychological and behavioral blocks. The findings highlight the relationships between social psychological constructs and environmental concern and behavior, as well as the relationships between social demographic character- istics and environmental values and beliefs. The findings from this study will be useful to environmental educators and communicators interested in studying the social psychological and social demographic bases of environmental concern and behavior.

 

Chapters in Edited Volumes:

Nisbet, M.C. & Newman, T.P. (2015). Framing, the Media, and Environmental Communication. In H. Anders & R. Cox (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Environment and Communication. London: Routledge (p. 325-338).

Abstract:

In this chapter, we review the the role framing at the macro-level as it relates to various social movement and advocacy strategies, the social construction of controversies such as those over nuclear energy, climate change and food biotechnology, and the significance to political decision-making. In doing so, we describe a generalizable typology of frames that can be applied to studying the social and political development of environmental debates and technology controversies as they play out in media coverage and public discourse. In the second section, we review research evaluating how the frames of reference found in media coverage and political debate resonate with and selectively activate individual mental models and cognitive “schema,” thereby influencing public opinion. We also discuss examples of how this research is being applied to the design of effective public engagement campaigns on climate change. To conclude the chapter, we briefly review new directions for framing research in environmental communication, highlighting the relevance of work on cultural cognition and moral foundations theory; as well as “Big Data” methods for evaluating social media discussion and discourse.

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