Australians committed to learning about climate change

20 September 2019

Written by: Ryan Long

The Australian Public want to learn more about climate change, but from our weather presenters, not our politicians.

Today, hundreds of thousands of students across Australia are expected to attend the global climate strikes spread out over 100 Australian cities and towns. The students will be accompanied in the packed streets by workers from all different industries who will be protesting for climate change action to be made.

The protests across Australia have again opened up the discussion on climate change to the public. Our politicians are one of the main sources of climate change information. But this has proven to be problematic as politicians can also be some of the least trusted people on this topic.

Research at Monash University, have discovered that four of Australia’s most trusted information sources on climate change are climate scientists, farmers, firefighters and weather presenters.

The research provided a survey of Australian TV audiences’ views on climate change in the country. The survey showed that 87.8 per cent of respondents were interested in learning more about the issue and impact of climate change through a weather bulletin.

Weather presenters have access to a wider range of audience that others such as farmers and scientists don’t have. The researchers, writing for The Conversation, believe that weather presenters can play an important role in discussing the impact of climate change to the Australian public as they are “both trusted and skilled communicators.”

According to Monash University research, there are two main reasons why viewers are interested in the idea of having weather presenters provide ‘impartial information’ about climate change. 49.07 per cent of respondents were interested because information about climate change is too politicized in Australia. While 44.67 per cent of respondents said that it was because there isn’t enough information about the issue.

Television is still one of the most popular and largest sources of news, therefore the idea of informing the public about the impact of climate change through weather reporters has the potential to be successful.

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Photo supplied by Katerina Koteska

Ryan Long is a third year Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) student at La Trobe University. You can follow him on Twitter @ryanlong1297