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Harnessing the power of the press with three indices of sustainable development

Morse, S (2011) Harnessing the power of the press with three indices of sustainable development Ecological Indicators, 11 (6). 1681 - 1688. ISSN 1470-160X

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Abstract

This paper describes the results of research designed to explore reporting of three indices (Corruption Perception Index, CPI; Human Development Index, HDI and the Ecological Footprint, EF) in the UK national press between January 1990 and December 2009. Reporting of the indices was assessed by: (a) the number of articles published each year mentioning the index at least once (b) a weighting of (a) allowing for the different circulation between newspapers (c) the diversity of newspapers having articles mentioning the index (using the Shannon Index). Results suggest that the EF scored highest across all three measures whereas the CPI was lowest. The EF was also more likely to be reported in terms that implied a sense of ownership as well as a concept and not just an index. Unlike the CPI and HDI, there is no single methodology for the EF with various groups having their own approach. These features appear to have aided the relative popularity of EF within newspaper reporting. Finally, there was typically little if any description within the articles of the methodology or assumptions that rest behind the indices. Hence they are usually presented as a ‘black box’ to provide authoritative support for statements.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Ecological Indicators. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ecological Indicators, 11(6), November 2011, DOI 10.1016/j.ecolind.2011.04.016.
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environmental Strategy
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2011 14:11
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:54
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/29724

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