Greening and Energy Issues: An Analysis of Four Canadian Newspapers

  •  Gregor Wolbring    
  •  Jacqueline Noga    


The concept of greening has been part of the public discourse for some time. The greening of energy, which is seen as essential for green growth and a green economy, which in turn is seen as essential for sustainable development, is part of this public discourse. Media is seen to be important in shaping public opinion. We investigated how two national Canadian newspapers (Globe and Mail and National Post) and two regional (Alberta) newspapers (Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal) cover greening as it relates to energy issues. The key findings were: although 88% of newspaper articles that covered greening also covered energy issues, only 0.15% of the articles that covered energy issues also contained the term greening; greening was mostly framed in economical not environmental protection terms; many themes were covered but often only once in a given article and often in less than 10% of the overall articles. This analysis could give guidance to stakeholders such as industry and non-governmental organizations on how greening is discussed in relation to energy issues. The analysis suggests that there is a need for increasing the visibility of greening in energy covering articles, that a more analytical approach is needed linking it for example to the greening indicator discourse as indicators are envisioned to give guidance as to what to do how and that a rethinking of how stakeholders distribute their greening message as it relates to energy issues might be warranted.

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