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The Bechdel Test for climate change coverage


The Bechdel Test for climate change coverage
The Bechdel Test for climate change coverage

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a non-profit organization, has developed a "Bechdel Test" to assess the coverage of climate change in the media. The test is based on the well-known Bechdel Test, which is used to evaluate gender representation in films.


The Bechdel Test for climate change consists of three questions:


  • Does the article include at least two sources that are not men?

  • Do these sources discuss climate change as a systemic problem, rather than an individual problem?

  • Do these sources offer solutions to climate change that are based on systemic change?


CAT tested 100 climate articles from 10 leading English-language news organizations. Only 12% of the articles passed the test.


The results of the test showed that:


  • Women and other underrepresented groups are rarely quoted in climate articles.

  • The media often focuses on individual actions, rather than systemic change.

  • Solutions based on systemic change are rarely offered in climate articles.

CAT is calling for fairer and more systemic coverage of climate change in the media.


The Bechdel Test is a tool that can help to:


  • Raise awareness of gender inequality and injustice in climate change coverage.

  • Encourage the media to provide fairer and more systemic coverage of the issue.

  • Support initiatives that give voice to underrepresented groups.

  • Promote the development and implementation of systemic solutions.

 




While the Bechdel Test might not be flawless, it offers a valuable starting point for achieving more balanced and truthful reporting on climate change. By applying this test, the global society can encourage media outlets to present a more complete picture of this crucial issue.

 

Additional Information:


  • The Bechdel Test was created by Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist and graphic novelist.

  • The test was first published in 1985 in Bechdel's comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For."

  • The test has since been used to evaluate gender representation in a wide range of media, including films, television shows, and news articles.

 

 

Youtube credits: @TED

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