University of Twente Student Theses


Nuclear energy: A nuclear topic

Wensing, Kasper (2019) Nuclear energy: A nuclear topic.

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Abstract:Global climate change forces us to change the ways in which we produce energy. Nuclear power may contribute to achieving goals of the global climate treaty; however, the power source is highly controversial, leading to low levels of public support. Because public opinion is one of the most important aspect of nuclear energy, this study tries to analyze the Dutch media coverage on nuclear energy. Based on agenda-setting theory and framing theory, it assumes that media representations have an important influence on public opinion. By conducting a quantitative media analysis this study analyzed the sentiments and themes (frames) in which nuclear energy was reported in two Dutch newspapers: De Telegraaf and De Volkskrant from 2015 to 2018. Results show that the topic of nuclear energy is getting increased attention. Furthermore, since 2018 a pro-nuclear sentiment seems to dominate the media coverage. The most dominant themes are ‘environmental benefits’, ‘efficiency benefits’, and ‘safety and health risks’. This study also found that most of the articles are published in the opinion section of newspapers. These findings indicate that a debate on nuclear energy is already occurring and seems to be shifting towards a pro-nuclear stand. Based on these findings, this study makes some communication recommendation for organizations that are involved in the nuclear industry.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Computer Science BSc (56964)
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