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Date

5-4-2020

Description

American political polarization around climate change is largely fueled by science denialism, and although much research investigates the impacts of ideology, little has been done on the impacts of epistemology, and more specifically, the role of conflict-conditioned narratives. This study aims to investigate the epistemic role Fox News played in the 2016 U.S. Election, potentially escalating conflict due to the nature of delivered narratives. To this end, this research explores online reporting of climate change to observe Fox News' journalism, using such behavior as indicators to identify the presence of conflict-conditioned narratives, and the furthering of conflict-supporting narratives. This research will take a directed approach to qualitative content analysis, based on existing research in conflict resolution. Observations are forthcoming, but hypothesized results include: Fox News regularly reported representations which are not reflective of the broader state of the climate and climate change affairs, though not explicitly incorrect. Given the role entrusted to Fox News of reporting reliable, accurate and balanced information, especially critical when viewers do not have the means of validating or criticizing presented information, they are epistemologically dependent on such information and narratives. This may very well mean that viewers think (and vote) within the conflict-supporting narratives Fox News have laid out for them. Recommended followup research includes more on how epistemological structures and networks operate as power hierarchies which may have been used to empower those directing the structures rather than viewers themselves.

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May 4th, 12:00 AM

In Trump We Trust: Epistemic Isolation, Conflict Narratives, and Climate Change Denial In Significant Portion of Trump's 2016 Election Base

American political polarization around climate change is largely fueled by science denialism, and although much research investigates the impacts of ideology, little has been done on the impacts of epistemology, and more specifically, the role of conflict-conditioned narratives. This study aims to investigate the epistemic role Fox News played in the 2016 U.S. Election, potentially escalating conflict due to the nature of delivered narratives. To this end, this research explores online reporting of climate change to observe Fox News' journalism, using such behavior as indicators to identify the presence of conflict-conditioned narratives, and the furthering of conflict-supporting narratives. This research will take a directed approach to qualitative content analysis, based on existing research in conflict resolution. Observations are forthcoming, but hypothesized results include: Fox News regularly reported representations which are not reflective of the broader state of the climate and climate change affairs, though not explicitly incorrect. Given the role entrusted to Fox News of reporting reliable, accurate and balanced information, especially critical when viewers do not have the means of validating or criticizing presented information, they are epistemologically dependent on such information and narratives. This may very well mean that viewers think (and vote) within the conflict-supporting narratives Fox News have laid out for them. Recommended followup research includes more on how epistemological structures and networks operate as power hierarchies which may have been used to empower those directing the structures rather than viewers themselves.