I will be presenting research on visual social media during the 2015 Paris climate talks (COP21), a collaboration with Luis Hestres (University of Texas at San Antonio), at the 2017 International Conference on Social Media and Society at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada July 30. The conference is organized by the Social Media Lab at Ryerson.

Research summary: Within networked, digital media spaces, new news platforms are reconfiguring traditional news production norms through hybrid cultural practices, giving rise to new paradigms of journalism. There is an increased emphasis on transparency and accountability, as well as interaction with audiences. At the same time, Internet-mediated activism allows individuals to foster larger, more diverse networks of weak ties, thus opening new avenues for advocacy communication. Climate change is increasingly becoming the backdrop to news stories on topics as varied as politics and international relations, science and the environment, economics and inequality, and popular culture. We use the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) that took place in Paris from November 30 to December 11, 2015, as a case study. The project focuses on COP21 coverage by British news outlet the Guardian, which launched a fossil fuel divestment campaign “Keep it in the Ground” in advance of COP21. We compare the Guardian’s discussion of ‘climate solutions’ during COP21 with other news outlets and climate stakeholders.

The work-in-progress paper is available through ACM.