Cecilia Biancalana Daria Loreti

Obstacle or Opportunity for the Environment? Exploring Attention to Environmental Issues and Framing of the Energy Crisis in the First Year of the Russo-Ukrainian War in an Italian Newspaper



This paper examines the role of media in shaping public discourse on the environment, particularly amidst competing crises. Existing literature indicates a tendency for decreased coverage of environmental issues during high-impact events. Focusing on the Italian context, this study investigates the influence of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the energy crisis on media representation of environmental issues in the country. Specifically, we analyze whether these events overshadowed climate concerns and how they were portrayed – either as catalysts for the green transition or as obstacles to global climate change mitigation efforts. The study is based on an analysis of 1,264 articles published by Corriere della Sera during the first year of the war. Initially, a codebook was employed to assess the extent and manner in which the newspaper addressed environmental topics. Subsequently, a qualitative examination of frames was conducted to determine whether the war and energy crises were depicted as catalysts or obstacles in environmental coverage. Findings reveal an initial overshadowing effect on environmental issues during the early stages of the war, albeit temporary. When analyzing the framing of the war and energy crisis in environmental coverage, a coexistence of «opportunity» and «obstacle» frames is discernible, with the former prevailing.


  • environment
  • climate change
  • news media
  • energy crisis
  • Italy


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