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Sustainable Finance and the News Media

Project description

How to successfully communicate sustainable finance to the public

A wider societal transformation towards a more sustainable economic system has failed to emerge in spite of global actions such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The news media could play a major role in drawing the public’s attention. However, no research exists on communicating sustainable finance. To address this gap, the EU-funded SUFIN project will create questionnaires for financial journalists in Europe on sustainable finance reporting and analyse sustainable finance coverage in European financial news over the past decade. By exploring the news media’s role in creating awareness and understanding, the project will encourage European citizens to apply sustainable finance daily while also teaching key stakeholders to better communicate the topic.

Objective

On January 31, 2018, the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG) of the European Commission published its final report with recommendations. However, despite recent global movements (e.g. UN Sustainable Development Goals), a broader societal change toward a more sustainable economic system has failed to materialize. One reason is that sustainable finance has not yet become an integral part of today’s (financial) narrative. Researchers in communication science have highlighted the pivotal role of the news media in inducing signs, symbols and meanings to spur interest for certain topics for many years (i.e. agenda-setting). Yet, research on the communication of sustainable finance is, up to now, non-existent. This research project will fill the research gap by investigating the role of the news media in raising public awareness and understanding of sustainable finance, and subsequently, European citizens’ motivation to engage and eventually implement sustainable finance in their daily lives. To do so, a Delphi study among financial journalists in Europe will give insights into role perceptions and gatekeeping processes in editorial offices when reporting on sustainable finance. Furthermore, a large-scale semi-automated content analysis of the coverage of sustainable finance in European financial news over the past 10 years will show how the topic has evolved over time (e.g. actors). Moreover, focus group discussions combined with an experimental survey among European citizens will inform the public about news media framing effects on individual’s attitudes and behavioural intentions vis-à-vis sustainable finance. Concluding, the proposed research project will not only educate financial experts, educators and communication experts on how to successfully communicate sustainable finance to the broader public, it also provides policy makers (e.g. HLEG) with highly relevant insights on how to engage European citizens for a greener economic future.

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Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
Address
Wellington square university offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom

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Region
South East (England) Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Oxfordshire
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00