A121. Rebich-Hespanha, S. & Rice, R. E. (2016). Dominant visual frames in climate change news stories: Implications for formative evaluation in climate change campaigns. International Journal of Communication, 10, 4830-4862. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/4701/1800.


We propose a rigorous basis for identifying and assessing visual frames as part of a pre-production phase of formative evaluation for climate change campaigns. We review research on images in climate change communication, and the role of formative evaluation in communication campaigns in general and climate change campaigns in particular.  Manual content analysis generated over 100 highly reliable image themes, and cluster analysis generated 15 dominant visual frames, from 350 images in 200 randomly-selected climate change news articles from 1974-2009.  We discuss possible implications for utilization of those frames in climate change campaign messages.  The dominant visual frames also provide bases for more structured and comprehensive formative evaluation research that could provide justification for using or avoiding certain visual frames when seeking to achieve particular outcomes though communication with specific audiences.

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