Forecasting the future: How television weathercasters’ attitudes and beliefs about climate change affect their cognitive knowledge on the science.
Wilson, K. M. (2002). Forecasting the future: How television weathercasters’ attitudes and beliefs about climate change affect their cognitive knowledge on the science. Science Communication, 24(2), 246. doi:10.1177/107554702237849
AbstractThe topic of climate change has recently resurfaced on many news agendas, but increasingly, the scientific and political issues
mix. Previous research has noted that even though the public relies primarily on television news as a source of climate change
information, broadcasting has few environment and/or science reporters to cover the topic. This study considers another potential
source—television weathercasters. This research measures weathercasters' acquired climate change knowledge against the scientific
consensus and analyzes differences in their knowledge on the basis of several factors that may influence their climate change
reporting. The results show that television weathercasters with the most accurate climate change knowledge scored highest
in the affective domain—that is, the attitudes and values they hold about this scientific concept influenced their cognitive
understanding of the topic more than any other independent variable. Put more simply the “politics” of what some consider
a controversial scientific topic had the greatest bearing on weathercasters'scientific knowledge.