The PR company CCgroup has carried out a study looking at how the UK’s most popular newspapers view and report on renewable energy technologies.
The findings showed that the British media portrayed a remarkably negative view of renewable energy.
The study looked at articles for the whole of July 2012 from the top five biggest selling daily newspapers; The Times, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, and The Daily Mirror, which sell a combined 6.5 million issues each day.
On average, 51% of the articles viewed were either ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’ with just 21% being ‘positive’ or ‘very positive’. Wind power was the most popular topic and this suffered even more, with nearly 60% of all the articles framing wind power in a negative manner.
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• The Times wrote 42 pieces, 19 of which were negative, and 14 positive.
• The Daily Mail wrote 23 articles, 18 negative, and just one positive.
• The Daily Telegraph wrote 44 stories on renewable energy, 25 negative, and just four positive.
• The Sun wrote 16 pieces which offered an even spread of negative and positive views.
• The Daily Mirror wrote eight with just two negative, and the other neutral or positive.
This negative media coverage actually runs contrary to common public opinion, which is in favour of renewable energy investment. A recent poll for the Sunday Times found that a massive 72% of the population want more investment in solar power, whilst 55% want more investment in wind power.
Charlotte Webster, the head of clean tech at CCgroup worries that the negative media coverage could influence investment in the renewable industry, and derail any further growth. “Right when the renewables industry should be seeing rapid growth, it's in the centre of a communications crisis, with the media holding one arm behind its back.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com