29 Nov 2021, 13:25
Charlotte Nijhuis

German climate activists’ media image on the decline – analysis

Fridays for Future and other climate activist groups are losing sympathy in German media, according to an analysis by Media Tenor, der Spiegel reports. The institute looked at coverage of climate activism in 19 media outlets from 2019 until now. After a large wave of approval in 2019 and positive coverage until the third quarter of 2020, reporting about youth climate activists has recently become significantly more negative, head of the institute Roland Schatz said. The image loss was particularly great in the third quarter of 2021, when the German election campaign was at its height. “The media honeymoon between the journalists on the one hand and the Fridays for Future movement around its figurehead Greta Thunberg on the other hand landed in the depths of reality," Schatz said.

Fridays for Future has become an indispensable part of the German debate on climate action since the movement first mobilised masses of young people to the streets in 2018. Throughout the election campaign, the youth activists pushed parties across the spectrum to commit to policy in line with limiting global warming to 1.5C.

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