Open Journal of Forestry
2013. Vol.3, No.1, 1-7
Published Online January 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 1
Forest-Climate Politics in Bangladesh’s Media Discourse in
Comparison to Global Media Discourse
Md. Nazmus Sa da t h1,2, Max Krott1, Carsten Schusser1
1Chair of Forest and Nature Conservation Po l i c y, Georg August University Goettingen, Goettingen, G e r many
2Forestry and Wood T ech nol og y Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh
Received September 7th, 2012; r evised November 3rd, 2012; accepted November 19th, 2012
Forest and climate issues are prominent within the policies and media in Bangladesh, as well as on the
global level. In this study, media discourses from 1989 to 2010 from the “International Herald Tribune”
and “The Daily Ittefaq” of Bangladesh are analyzed. Quantitative content analysis classifies 16 frames of
the forest and climate issue and 17 political actors. Substantial differences between the forest and climate
discourses of the national and international media have been discovered. The national print media reports
that the forest is in a crisis due to climate change, whereas the international print media describes the for-
est as a solution opportunity to climate change. The hypothesis that the international media drives the na-
tional media discourse is rejected. The national media forest and climate discourse in Bangladesh began
five years earlier than in the international media, and the different framing of the forest and climate issues
can be explained by the influence of strong actors on both the national and international level. Journalists
and politicians are the strongest influences in the national print media (The Daily Ittefaq) and primarily
frame the discussion around the adverse impact of climate change on the forest in Bangladesh, a country
that faces potentially severe effects from climate change. By stressing that climate change has caused a
forest crisis, the national media brings attention to a threat that they are not responsible for. Scientists,
Non-Governmental Organizations and international organizations are the major voices in the international
print media (International Herald Tribune). They shape the global forest and climate media discourse
around the wider scope of forests’ role in climate change. International scientists and NGOs present
themselves as problem solvers of climate change by framing the discussion around the mitigating role of
the forests. These strategic arguments explain the differences in media discourse.
Keywords: Climate Change; Forest-Climate Discourse; Political Actor; Media Framing
Introduction: The Dynamic Media Discourse
about Climate Change and the Forest
In the last century, deforestation, desertification and forest
degradation have been major environmental problems that have
diminished sustainable forest use and caused a significant loss
of biodiversity, including the extinction of both flora and faunal
species. This loss of biodiversity is the sixth largest species loss
in the earth’s history (Leakey & Lewin, 1995; Pimm & Brooks,
2000). Additionally, global warming is magnifying these envi-
ronmental threats for the forest. Now that it has become a
global issue in political discourse, forest issues are no longer a
concern of individual nations. Despite several global initiatives
such as FSC, IPF and UNFF, the forest sector did not reach its
goal of a united global forest regime or policy. However, in
2008, the forestry sector did find a niche within the already
existent climate change regime, and a significant step was made
for establishing a global forest regime within the climate
change regime (Levin et al., 2008). This new global forest and
climate regime (Levin et al., 2008) has contributed to the emer-
gence of a forest and climate discourse in the scientific and
political arenas at both the global and national levels.
There has been rigorous discussion at the international level
on creating global initiative to tackle forest climate issue but
there has also long been a national perspective to the forest and
climate issue, even though the problem exists beyond the na-
tional state boundary, in part because there are countries such
as Bangladesh that will be affected by this global problem more
than others. Bangladesh is located on a delta and faces various
adverse impacts from climate change, including on the cur-
rently stressed forest sec tor. A major portion of forested land in
Bangladesh is situated within the coastal region. The world’s
largest single mangrove area, identified as “the Sundarbans”, is
a biodiversity hot spot with one of the richest gene pools in the
world, but it is directly under threat from sea level rise under
various scenarios of climate change (Ali, 1999). Climate chan-
ge’s impact on agriculture and the hydrological system will also
pose an indirect anthropogenic threat to the existing natural
forest of Bangladesh (Huq et al., 1999). Because of the issue’s
immense scope, it involves a diverse group of stakeholders at
different political levels both nationally and globally. These di-
verse stakeholders utilize the media as a platform to spread
their viewpoints with the purpose of exerting influence on en-
vironmental politics and public opinion; simultaneously, the
media assists in the aggregation of interests within the political
process, providing a channel for communication and facilitating
the revision of shared goals and policies (Curran, 2002). To
some extent, the media performs these functions for the public
sphere because it provides more open access to various actors
(Kleinschmit, 2012). The mass media also plays a crucial role
in mediating the process of public deliberation and in the diffu-
sion concerns and opinions (Hardt, 2004). In today’s modern
complex democratic society, the media is one of the most im-
portant sources of information for individuals other than elec-
tions and opinion polls; thus, the media reflects the public
opinion (Kleinschmit & Krott, 2008). The media has an impor-
tant place in both the national and international political level,
as it provides the place where different actors build on their
arguments with the interest of legitimizing their policies or
decisions. By keeping in mind the accelerating political issue of
climate change and forests in Bangladesh and the active politi-
cal role of the media in forest policy, the study investigates how
the media has reported on climate change and the forest issue
since its first mention in the late 80s and early 90s. The com-
parison between the national and international levels of media
is of special interest. Finally, if we find differences between the
media, we will look for explanations. Given this background,
the following section will organize the research question into
three hypotheses guiding the empirical media analysis.
Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses
Media Discou rse and th e Framing of the Forest and
Climate Issue
Discourse is a social construction of reality; that is, discourse
produces a specific picture of the issue of forest and climate
change (Fairclough, 1995). Keller (1997) approaches discourse
as a specific content that is a thematically institutionalized form
of text production, comprising public discussions on certain
political and/or environmental issues delivered through the me-
dia where the conversation and exchange of opinion between
relevant actors has occurred. In this study, the forest and cli-
mate media discourse is understood as the communication
about topics and actors present in the print media that are rele-
vant to both the forest and climate change.
In the media, the specific topic of climate change and its ef-
fects on forests can be viewed from many different perspectives.
This phenomenon is addressed by the theory of “framing”.
According to Chong and Druckman (2007: p. 104), “the major
principle of framing theory is that an issue can be construed as
having implications for multiple values or considerations. Fra-
ming refers to the process by which people develop a particular
conceptualization of an issue or re-orient their thinking about
an issue”. Therefore, to make framing work, one must select
specific “aspects of a perceived reality and make them more
salient in a communication text, in such a way as to promote a
particular problem definition, casual interpretation, moral eva-
luation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item de-
scribed” (Entman, 1993). Framing highlights particular pieces of
information about the subject, thereby assigning more impor-
tance to those pieces than to others (Prittwiz, 1990; Entman,
The framing of the topic by different actors in the media on
the national and international political levels may be different,
as the problem’s definition, perception and interest for a single
state that is heavily impacted by climate change might be dif-
ferent from an international perspective (Takahashi, 2008).
Although existing literature was not found regarding this exact
phenomenon, Kingdon (2003) mentioned in his policy agenda
setting theory that public opinion on a particular issue may
differ with location (Kingdon, 2003). In addition, the audience
of the global media is different from that of the national media,
and every media outlet is very careful to satisfy their audience
or readership; thus, the framing of similar issues (Gerhards,
1994; Boykoff & Boykoff, 2004) may be different in the print
media at the international level when compared to the national
print media. Therefore, this study’s first hypothesis as follows:
The media actively frames forest and climate change issues.
Therefore, how the issue is presented depends on the media;
hence, the framing of national media is different than that of
international media.
National and International Me dia
This study’s objective is to analyse the difference in media
discourse at both the international and national levels; therefore,
it is imperative to explain the globalization of the media. Al-
though the media is highly recognized as a driving force of
globalization (Kleinschmit & Krott, 2008), the literature on the
international or global media lacks a common definition. Many
scholars refer to the international media within a technical con-
text, e.g., new communications technologies or multi-national
media industries (Held et al., 1999). In regard to the topics on
which international media reports, the definitions become more
abstract, referring to the scope and composition of the audience
(McQuail, 2010). We follow the definition of Reese (2010),
stating that trans- or international media are those who can ob-
tain news from transnational boundary sources and can address
a wider audience beyond national boundaries, such as the “In-
ternational Herald Tribune” or the “Financial Times” (Reese,
2010). In contrast, national media such as “The Daily Ittefaq”
of Bangladesh is characterized by content with respect to lan-
guage and substance, which provides the public sphere with a
national perspective on Bangladesh (Rahman, 2010). In recent
years, he international and national media have shifted their
focus from more local and regional environmental issues to
more global issues, such as global warming, ozone layer deple-
tion and the extinction of species (Mazur & Lee, 1993). Be-
cause of this shift in environmental reporting, it is important to
question whether there is any link between the international and
national media. It is clear that international print media such as
the “International Herald Tribune” have more resources to co-
ver global events and, as a result, have a larger news pool (Wu,
1998). In contrast, national media, such as “The Daily Ittefaq”
of Bangladesh, lack the resources to cover global environmen-
tal issues first hand and tend to depend on international sources
for their stories. Therefore, there is a greater chance that na-
tional print media will follow international print media in re-
porting global environmental issues such as forest and climate
politics (Mazur & Lee, 1993). Based on this globalization of
news, this study’s second hypothesis as follows: “International
media claims to address important global issues first. Therefore,
the forest and climate change issue is mentioned in the interna-
tional media prior to the national media of Bangladesh.
Explaining Framing by Political Actors
Framing is part of the communicative strategy of political
actors. It is influenced by the strengths of the actors, which is
not only limited to their status and resources but also depends
on how much value they bring to forest and climate issues. By
combining these three factors, the standing of a certain actor or
a group of actors is determined in the media discourse, i.e., t he
strength of a certain actor or group of actors having a voice in
the media in comparison to others (Feindt & Kleinschmit,
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
2011). In this study, we used speakers as political actors. The
frequency of the appearance of a certain actor in the media as a
speaker on a certain topic or field is a good indicator of media
standing. The higher standing of certain actors in forest and
climate media discourse provides that speaker with more op-
portunities to shape and/or frame the discourse in accordance
with his or her interests or viewpoint (Sadath et al., 2012). In
depicting certain events, the speaker stresses some aspects of a
situation and downplays other aspects (e.g., Schäfer, 2008),
which in turn has implications for how the speaker might bene-
fit from specific frames (Sadath et al., 2012). Based on this
strategic framing theory, this study’s last hypothesis is as fol-
lows: “Topics and framing within the media are influenced by
the actors that speak in the media. Therefore, strong actors and
their interests can explain the content and the timing of frames
in both the national and international media.
Two reputable daily newspapers, “The Daily Ittefaq” and
“International Herald Tribune”, were selected to represent the
national and international print media, respectively, for the
analysis. The Daily Ittefaq was selected because of the news-
paper’s popularity in Bangladesh and its ability to reach Bang-
ladeshi political elites and decision-makers (Sadath et al., 2012).
The print media selection for international media is critical, as
the definition of global media is not very clear among scholars
(Park, 2009). Following UNESCO (1997) and Sparks (1998),
The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Interna-
tional Herald Tribune are considered to be reputable interna-
tional publications (UNESCO, 1997; Sparks, 1998). The first
two print media do not focus on environmental issues, but
rather focus on financial and economic reporting. The Interna-
tional Herald Tribune publishes articles with a broader range of
issues and subjects, including the environment, politics, culture
and sports. In addition, two thirds of the readers of the Interna-
tional Herald Tribune are non-American, and the newspaper is
sold in more than 160 countries and territories (IHT, 2012).
Therefore, the “International Herald Tribune” was selected to
represent the print media discourse at an international level
(Sadath et al., 2012).
Relevant articles of the “International Herald Tribune” were
identified using the LexisNexis database, and the relevant arti-
cles from the national newspaper “The Daily Ittefaq” were
collected manually using the national library archive of Bang-
ladesh. The search was limited to the years between 1989 and
2010 because since 1989, the climate change issue had gained
momentum in international and national environmental discus-
sions and subsequently international negotiation had begun.
The database search for relevant articles was performed using
the keywords “Climate change” and “Forest”. The resulting ar-
ticles were then screened to obtain the relevant articles with the
screening criterion containing at least one paragraph within the
article that linked the forest to climate change. As a result, a
number of articles were identified and in this sample: the “In-
ternational Herald Tribune” yielded 90 articles with 149 state-
ments, and the “The Daily Ittefaq” of Bangladesh yielded 49
articles with 52 statements.
Quantitative-qualitative content analysis was then performed
on these newspaper articles to determine their general impres-
sion regarding forest issues connected to climate change and
how these topics are framed. Content analysis is the method
used for elevating social reality, utilizing both a manifest and
non-manifest context. According to Krippendorff (1980), con-
tent analysis is the research technique for making valid, expli-
cative inferences from data about their context. In addition,
content analysis is the appropriate method for objectively iden-
tifying significant text within a large volume of newspaper text
(Neuman, 2006). A coding system was developed to interpret
the data. This coding system used two units of analysis: the
article and the statement. A statement refers to what has been
spoken by a certain actor or speaker on the selected issue.
Every speaker may have been coded in more than one place in
the same article, but all of his or her discussions was coded
together as one statement. The selected articles were first coded
according to date, media sources, news factors, events and
newspaper sections. Then, at the statement level, each speaker
was coded according to their typology: politicians, civil ad-
ministration, forest and environment administration, scientists,
journalists, forest enterprises, forest and non-forest non-gov-
ernmental organizations (NGO), interstate organizations (such
as the UN and EU), the World Bank, local individuals and ex-
perts. This speaker classification is based on the various types
of involved stakeholders or actors in the forest and climate
change issues (Park, 2009; Real, 2009). The next step was to
determine the frames from each statement made by the indi-
vidual speakers. Framing is the process of highlighting certain
aspects of the forest and climate problem in terms of its causal
interpretation (i.e., diagnostic frame), graveness and urgency of
the issue (i.e., motivational frame) and/or solution suggestions
(i.e., prognostic frame) (Feindt & Kleinschmit, 2011; Park,
2009; Entman, 1993; Bendford & Snow, 2000; Semetko & Val-
kenburg, 2000). Based on these framing elements, this study
formulates 24 frame categories covering the aspects of how the
forest was related to climate change. For example, in using the
forest as a carbon sink, the frames are the forest’s use of CO2,
climate change and forest productivity, climate change and bio-
diversity, sea level rise and forest cover and climate change in
relation to wildlife conflicts. These frames are drawn from the
literature review on forest and climate change issues at the glo-
bal level (Real, 2009; Etkin & Ho, 2007) and from the Bangla-
desh climate change assessment report (MoEF, 2008). Then,
the statements made by each actor/speaker were categorized ac-
cording to the ways they related the forest with climate change.
Several roles of the forest were framed for mitigating global
warming or climate change by explaining how several forest
issues such as deforestation and illegal logging are contributing
to climate change and how climate change will affect the forest
and biodiversity (Park, 2009; Kleinschmit et al., 2009).
Results: The Two Worlds of National and
International Media Discourse
Framing of the Forest within the Climate Change
Media Discourse
The analysis of framing the forest issues within climate
change discourse using the different speakers indicated differ-
ences between the two media. The frequencies of specific fra-
mes are measured by the percentage of the total number of
statements about forest and climate frames in each of the media
(i.e., the “International Herald Tribune” (n = 149) and the “The
Daily Ittefaq” (n = 52)). In total, 16 frames were found from the
24 pre-fixed frames. This reduction indicates that media does
not report on every aspect of the forest and climate issues;
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 3
rather, they are selective in choosing the frames that pass th-
rough their selection filter. The 16 frames found are not equally
represented in both media, but both international and national
print media each stressed some of these frames. The national
print media stressed on more motivational frames (i.e., the gra-
veness and urgency of the issue), whereas the international print
media stressed on prognostic frames (i.e., problem solving sug-
gestions). In the national print media, motivational frames are
dominant (see Figure 1), which depict the adverse impact of
climate change on the forest, e.g., the loss of forest land due to
sea level rise (34.62%), the forest’s difficulty in coping against
climate change (17.31%) and climate change’s effect on biodi-
versity (3.85%). In addition, prognostic frames, which talk about
the forest’s role in adapting to climate change, are also present
in the national media but in a smaller percentage, as the forest’s
positive role as a carbon sink (11.54%) and the role of affore-
station in the adaptation against climate change (13.46%). An-
other share of frames (13.46%) are diagnostic frames that de-
pict deforestation as a contributor to climate change, with
5.77% of the frames found in the national print media agreeing
that REDD is the right instrument to handle the situation (see
Figure 1). In the national print media, the frames are more
inclined to support the crisis argument that the forests of Bang-
ladesh are facing an imminent threat from the global environ-
mental problem of climate change. This kind of framing in the
national media may have resulted from the tendency to shift
responsibility outside the national boundary in order to obtain
more international assistance in solving the problem.
Figure 1.
Forest frames in the climate change media discourse (by share of
all statements about frames in %).
The media frames within the international media highlighted
, framing mostly highlights the
ortance of the forest within the climate dis-
e forest’s role in mitigating climate change, where the forest
as a carbon sink was the most dominant frame with 21.52%; the
use of the forest for mitigating and adapting CO2 (8.86% and
11.39%, respectively) were also mentioned. While the potential
threat of climate change to forests is present in a smaller per-
centage, with 0% of sea level rise as a threat to forest cover, the
forest’s difficulty to adapt against climate change represents
7.59%, and climate change’s effect on biodiversity represents
3.80%. However, 7.59% of frames in the international media
did conclude that REDD is the right instrument for reducing
emissions from deforestation.
In international print media
tential role of the forest in mitigating climate change prob-
lems and downplays the potential threat of climate change to
the forest and its biodiversity. On the contrary, in national me-
dia, the framing of the forest and climate issue is characterized
as the traditional forest in crisis. For example, Ataur Rahman,
an environmental activist, used the forest in crisis argument in
his framing of the forest and climate issue: “13% of Bangladesh
coast with the Sundarbans may go under water during the next
50 years” (The Daily Ittefaq, 10.11.2007). The empirical find-
ings support the first hypothesis, which states that the framing
of the forest within climate change discourse is quite different
in international print media when compared to the national print
media of Bangladesh.
Early Forest and Climate Discourse in the
National Media
The relative imp
urse is reflected in the growing attention it has received in the
national and international print media between 1989 and 2010
(Figure 2). A total of 49 newspaper articles dealing with the
forest and climate change issue were found in the national
newspaper, The Daily Ittefaq. In the international media, i.e.,
the International Herald Tribune, 90 articles resulted from the
collection. The reporting on the forest and climate issue in the
national media was first observed in 1989 and 1990. Sporadic
reporting was found until it increased beginning in 2006 and
peaking in 2010. However, in the International Herald Tribune,
reporting on forest and climate issues were first observed in
1995, reaching a strong peak in 2007 (23) with significant re-
porting in 2009 (14) and in 2010 (15). This analysis revealed
that forest issues were not present in the climate change discus-
sion prior to 1999-2000 in international media. However, a
small amount of sporadic reporting was found in national media
between 1989 and 2000. The trend shows that after 2007, forest
issues are more prominent in the climate discussion in the na-
tional print media.
Figure 2. ticles addressing climate change and forest s. Frequency of ar
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
The comparison of the frequency of articles proves that the
ces in the content and in the timing of na-
Strategic Framing by Political Actors in
dia, journa lists (46.2%) are the dominant
journalists are dominant in the national print
ention drawn from the national and international media to the
forest issues within the climate discussion shows a difference in
timing (i.e., the national media linked the forest with global
warming or climate change issues before the international me-
dia). Five articles were found in the national print media during
the first 5 years in The Daily Ittefaq, which primarily expresses
the grim danger global warming could bring to the forests of
Bangladesh. For instance, the environment minister of Bangla-
desh tells the media that “Shundarban will be lost to the sea in
the course of time due to sea-level rise” (The Daily Ittefaq, 13.
03.1989). Similarly, an environment staff reporter of The Daily
Ittefaq reported that “lowlands of Bangladesh are under a seri-
ous threat including the world’s largest mangrove forest” (The
Daily Ittefaq, 18.07.1990). An identical statement from the en-
vironment minister Mr. Abdullah Al Noman was published:
“low-lying coastal land of Bangladesh will be flooded by the
year 2050 if the sea-level rose to 32 cm due to global warming
and this affects the forest in terms of biodiversity and produc-
tion” (The Daily Ittefaq, 28.02.1996). However, the forest as a
topic gained more momentum in the climate change discourses
after 2006 in both print media where the national media has a
consistent growing trend, but in the international media, forests
have been mentioned inconsistently in climate change topics;
therefore, the empirical findings reject the second hypothesis as
the Bangladeshi print media reported before the global media
on new global issues, such as the relationship between climate
change and forests.
There are differen
nal and international media discourse. Our next hypothesis
provides an explanation by referring to the strategic framing by
political actors in the media.
Media Discourse
In the nat ional me
eakers, followed by politicians (28.8%) and scientists (11.5%).
Single individuals or communities (5.8%), NGOs (1.9%), de-
velopment consultants (1.9%), interstate organizations (1.9%)
and administrations (1.9%) represent the rest of the speakers in
the national media. However, scientists (34.2%) have dominant
standing in the international media, followed by the forest
NGOs and other NGOs (22.1%), journalists (12.7%) and inter-
state organizations (8.7%). Politicians (6%) and the World Bank
(5.4%) are the other two prominent speakers who shape the
international forest and climate discourse (see Figure 3). It is
evident that the national print media discourse is mostly shaped
by the politicians and journalists; thus, the discourse is primar-
ily a political one. In the national print media, the discourse is
driven by the actors, who need to legitimize their policy deci-
sions or need to create a public opinion in favour of their inter-
ests. This supports the argument of Bendford and Snow (2000)
that framing processes are strategic, deliberative and goal ori-
ented, which means that actors frame a certain issue within an
broader discourse to pursue their interests (Bendford & Snow,
2000; Somorin et al., 2011). In contrast, the international media
is dominated by scientists and NGOs. In this media, the mini-
mal presence of politicians is evident. The differential standing
of actors in both print media leads to different framings of the
forest issue.
Politicians and
Figure 3. both media.
edia, using the forest in crisis frame and stressing the adverse
Os focus the global perspective on the for-
Speaker in
impact of climate change on forests, which is beyond their con-
trol, as it was in the case of forest dieback in Germany during
the 1980s (Glück, 1986; Krott, 2005; Holzberger, 1995). This
kind of cr isis framing co mplies with the c oncept of the “pa ra-
dox of disaster” in the media, which supports their policy stand-
point and interest to scale up the potential danger to the forest
from climate change. Such a framing helps the politician’s at-
tempts to mobilize public opinion and voters in favour of their
policy interests by providing information in a particular order
(Kleinschmit & Krott, 2008; Jacoby, 2000). In addition, it also
legitimizes the argument that the degrading forest situation of
Bangladesh needs foreign help and financing for its conserva-
tion (MoEF, 2008).
Scientists and NG
t as a potential mitigator, representing the solution of global
warming in the international print media. However, REDD and
afforestation issues have recently been given importance by
strong actors in national media, which indicates the motivation
for the change of national political actors towards the current
forest and climate issues that can bring international finance to
the national sector; thus, they are now consistent with the glo-
bal forest and climate discourse. That shift in focus supports
Hajer’s concept of discourse coalition, i.e., when political ac-
tors shift from one discourse coalition to another and adopt a
different framing strategy based on the same issues because
their interests have shifted or the new framing is more suitable
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 5
for their cause (Hajer, 1995). For instance, the prime minister
of Bangladesh, ShiekhHasina showed the government’s inten-
tion to participate in the REDD process: “Bangladesh is now
ready to participate in REDD process under CDM” (The Daily
Ittefaq, 01.06.2010). Similarly, Mr.SalemulHuq, a development
consultant, stated that “Afforestation is a solution for global
warming and could also provide opportunity to Bangladesh”.
These two examples along with other similar statements made
by actors in the national media during last 3 years indicate a
shift in the framing of forest and climate politics from crisis
argumentation to the forest as a solution to climate change. The
empirical findings show that the powerful political actors are
able not only to frame but also re-frame issues and discourses
(Arts et al., 2010). Hence, the third hypothesis of the study is
supported by the empirical findings. The topics and framing
within the media is influenced by actors who speak in the me-
dia. Therefore, strong actors and their interests can explain the
content and timing in the national and international media.
Conclusion: The Different Worlds of
The analysis revences between the
at interna-
ed by the influence
tudy period, i.e. 2008 and 2009,
analyses show that the media discourse exists on multi-
I would like to tmit of SLU, Swe-
Ali, A. (1999). Climateaptation assessment in
Media Discourse
ealed substantial differ
rest and climate discourse of the national and international
media. The first hypothesis is supported, which states that there
are differences in framing. In national print media, the domi-
nant frames exist around the forest in crisis due to climate
change arguments (i.e., motivational framing), while in interna-
tional print media, the dominant frames describe the forest as a
solution to climate change (i.e., prognostic framing).
The second hypothesis is rejected, which states th
nal media are driving the national media discourse. In the
national media of Bangladesh, the forest/climate discourse be-
gan five years earlier than in the international media. This ini-
tial national media discourse does not mean that international
political discourse could not have been influential in Bangla-
desh. This may have occurred through political discourse but
was not used directly on the media level.
The differences in framing can be explain
strong actors at the national and international levels. Jour-
nalists and politicians are the strongest speakers in the national
print media (The Da ily Ittefaq), and they framed the discussion
primarily around the adverse impacts of climate change on the
forests in Bangladesh, a country that will face severe impacts of
climate change. The potential loss of the forest due to a rise in
sea level is a major discussion in the national forest and climate
discourse. Scientists, NGOs and international organizations are
the major speakers in the international print media (Interna-
tional Herald Tribune). They shape the global forest and cli-
mate media discourse around the larger scope of the forest
within climate change. International scientists and NGOs pre-
sent themselves as problem solvers in the climate change issue
by framing the mitigating role of forests. This solves problems
solely on the global level but not for Bangladesh, where the
danger of increasing sea level is a primary concern. The scien-
tists and NGOs thus adopt the role of global helpers, therefore
establishing the third hypothesis, which is that the framing of
forest and climate politics is influenced by the speakers who
follow their strategic interests.
In addition, at the end of the s
e powerful actors of Bangladesh (politicians and administra-
tion) emphasized the potential use of forest plantations and
REDD+ for mitigation. This indicates that the politicians of
Bangladesh sense opportunities to obtain financial resources
from these global initiatives. This also supports the third hypo-
thesis, which is that the strong actors are able to re-frame the
media discourse according to the shift of their interests over
e levels, is diverse and offers different support for specific
policies. However, support by the media for either crisis policy
or mitigation policy has not yet induced policy change. In addi-
tion to the media discourse, many other factors influence policy
making. Our media analysis allows for further research on whe-
ther the media discourse reflects and supports different forest
and climate policies on the national and international levels.
hank Dr. Daniela Kleinsch
n, and Mi Sun Park for their help in preparation of the coding
book for the content analysis. I am also grateful to the TIFF and
SUFONAMA Class of 2011 from Georg-August University
and the Students of FWT Discipline of Khulna University Ban-
gladesh for coding the sample article. Finally, I would like to
thank DAAD for financing my PhD project.
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