"As we are, so shall they..." : a re-articulation of the North-South vertical global green communications discourse.
The emergence of a new global discourse on climate change, a discourse that has become both political and ideological, and the realisation that the global media are the dominant providers of global climate change information motivated this study to examine the manner in which climate change issues of the developing countries (global south) are dealt with in selected newspapers in developed countries (global north). The study sought to investigate the manner in which a sample of quality mainstream newspapers from the global north report on, and represent, issues concerning climate change in the global south. The study also explored, through the structural theory of imperialism, how the media, while covering global climate change, consciously or subconsciously can either reinforce or subvert structural inequalities between the global north and the global south, and investigated the flow of information around issues of climate change as they traverse the global north information economy. In order to achieve the above objectives, the study used four newspapers located in the Northern hemisphere, two from the East Coast of the United States (The Washington Post and The New York Times); and two from London in the United Kingdom (The Telegraph and The Guardian). The study took a qualitative methodological approach rooted in the interpretative research philosophy. The news stories for analysis were downloaded from the newspaper websites‘ archives using purposive sampling strategies. Twenty stories focussing on climate change issues in the global south (Southern hemisphere) were chosen for analysis with five stories from each newspaper. The newspaper articles analysed were collected from the newspaper websites through keyword searches. The study used news articles published between March 2014 and March 2015. The study found that the global south is represented in the global north mainstream newspapers as poor countries in need of climate change aid, as barriers to global climate change deals and agreements and also as selfish and insensitive to environmental concerns. The sourcing patterns across all the stories reveal bias towards global north political, scientific and business elites. The stories also sought to advance neo-capitalist interests in dealing with climate change portraying climate change as an opportunity for businesses to harness and not as a threat to humanity.