Call for Papers – Communicating Climate Change – A pre-conference to ECC 2012, Istanbul, 23 October

Pre-Conference : Communicating Climate Change III – The Audience Perspective (Changing Climate, Changing Media & Changing Audiences)

Plato College of Higher Education, Istanbul 23 October 2012

Event organized by the Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies, University of Hamburg (Team : Prof. Dr. Irene Neverla, Dr. Monika Taddicken & Shameem Mahmud), hosted by the Plato College of Higher Education and organized in collaboration with the ECREA thematic sections Audience and Reception Studies, and Science and Environment Communication.

Call for Papers

Over the past two decades global climate change has emerged as one of the most intensely researched and discussed environmental and socio-political issues. Like other disciplines, scholars from social and behavioural sciences have spent a large amount of time and resources to understand public perception, attitude and behaviour regarding climate change and related issues. Multiple communication initiatives have been undertaken by governments and non-governmental organizations with the expectation of increasing public awareness, enhancing understanding, and motivating people for actions towards mitigation and/or adaptation. At the same time, we have witnessed unprecedented media coverage of the issue across the world. Broadly speaking, all these factors have contributed to increasing public awareness and understanding about climate change.

Nevertheless, it is still unclear what roles the media play in relation to audiences’ meaning-making and actions with respect to climate change. Do audiences draw on media representations of climate change problems and solutions in tackling risks of climate change ? Are political actions on climate change shaped by media coverage ? No easy answer is available. Research findings vary considerably between cultures, context, time, media coverage, and types of climatic risks, along with other factors. In recent years, the situation has become more complicated as the definition of audiences is going through a transformation in a new communicative landscape, which is largely shaped by the Internet and mobile technologies. Contemporary audiences are defined as active users or producers of media contents instead of the ‘passive’ consumers of the past. They have more channels to access and more platforms to express ideas and views transcending barriers of time and space. At the same time, in the developing world we have seen a paradigmatic change in communication systems in recent years triggered by the immense growth of broadcast and print media as well as the introduction of new media. Recent studies of climate change coverage in developing countries have also shown a trend of increased coverage of the issue. But little is known about how such coverage relates to people’s understandings and actions in developing countries, which often are more vulnerable with respect to the effects of climate change.

It is against this background of changing communicative landscapes that we propose to re-examine climate change from the perspective of audiences and media/audience relations in both western and non-western countries. We expect that this conference will bring scholars from different scientific disciplines and geographical locations together for a critical assessment of existing knowledge of relations between climate change, communication and audiences.

We invite scholarly contributions on the following topics, but other aspects of the overall conference theme are also welcome :

  • Methodological approaches for studying audiences in relation to climate change within the changing communicative landscape
  • Climate change, communication and media : what influences public perceptions and behaviour ?
  • Changing climate, changing media and changing audiences
  • Public understanding of climate change in western and non-western countries
  • Scientific uncertainty, risk and audience views on climate change
  • Climate change, media and politics

Submission of paper proposals Submit a maximum of 500 words abstract of your research paper as a Word document file to the e-mail address The last date for proposal submission is 30 April 2012. Please include a paper title, author(s) names, affiliations, contact address and e-mail. All paper proposals are subject to a double-blind peer review process. The language of the pre-conference is English.

Important Dates Abstract submission opens : 26 March 2012 Deadline for abstract submission : 30 April 2012 Notification of acceptance/rejection : 15 June 2012 Deadline for submission of full papers : 15 September 2012 Pre-Conference : 23 October 2012

Registration for the pre-conference Further information about the registration will be available by Friday 30 March 2012 at the pre-conference page

Pre-conference location Plato College of Higher Education Ayvansaray Caddesi No 33 Balat, Istanbul

Plato College of Higher Education has campuses in Balat and in Taksim. Both campuses are located in areas of Istanbul which stand out in terms of their cultural and social richness. Plato College of Higher Education is spreading its roots and becoming more institutionalised in the “street campus” which it is developing in one of the oldest areas of settlement of the historical peninsula : Balat.

Participants can easily reach all central locations of Istanbul by public transportation which runs from just outside the entrance of the campus. Beyoglu/Taksim, which is Istanbul’s most dynamic location in terms of the cultural, arts and entertainment scene, is only 10 minutes away from the Balat Campus.

Accommodation For a selection of recommended hotels in the central area of Taksim Square, please visit

Transport The pre-conference organisers will provide free shuttle service to and from the pre-conference venue to the main transport hub of Taksim Square.

Further information If you have any questions regarding your abstract submission, registration or any other issues related to the pre-conference, please contact Shameem Mahmud at

or visit the pre-conference page at