Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) has been monitoring media’s coverage of different issues with the
aim of determining trends in coverage. Among the issues monitored is climate change, a topic that
has climbed up on the agenda of political and environmental debates and discussions over the
recent years and because of this, has grabbed media’s attention.
MMA undertook a monitoring activity of climate change analysing mostly South African media
content on the topic from January, 2014 to December, 2019. Other than determining trends, the
activity was conducted to find out who dominates coverage, their race, gender, and affiliation. This
is important in such analysis because, one of the ways in finding out the agenda setters on a topic is
by looking at media sources. The findings are presented in a report that MMA is launching.
According to MMA’s Head of Programs, Thandi Smith, the climate crisis is a critical issue that
demands the attention of all.
“Media have a responsibility to cover this global crisis, ensuring adequate representation across
race, gender, and affiliation. The data collected shows a massive increase in the coverage during
2019 – which is not surprising. Over the next few months, MMA will continue analysing these trends and it is essential that the media continue to cover topics of public interest, such as the climate crisis, during this very demanding period, and to do so while ensuring fairness, accuracy and diversity in the reporting” says Smith.
The public is invited to read the report to not only find out who is speaking in media coverage but
also to find out if the coverage of climate change is adequate. Additionally, the public should read
the report to determine whether the media coverage is empowering enough for South Africans to
not only learn but begin to do something about it to lessen the impact of ignoring the effects of
The report can be accessed on MMA’s website (www.mediamonitoringafrica.org) and social media
platforms (Facebook and Twitter) on which it will be shared.
For enquiries, please contact Lister Namumba,
Monitoring, Research and Analysis Program Manager