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Jul 04, 2022 Commentary
Caricatures and omissions: representations of the news media in ‘Don't look up’

by Declan Fahy

‘Don't look up’ represents the news media as harmful to the public understanding of science. The news media turns honest scientists into corrupted and compromised media personalities. Its dynamics and demands make it unable to inform the public that a planet-killing comet, the film's allegory for climate change, is an existential threat. This commentary argues that these representations devalue the power of celebrity scientists to communicate science, ignore how journalists have placed climate change and ideas of climate catastrophe on the public agenda, and imply there is an idealised type of science communication — the deficit model — that journalists have corroded.

Volume 21 • Issue 05 • 2022