Young audiences and climate change

Communication analysis in different public arenas

  • Dimitrina J. Semova Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
  • Gemma Teso Alonso Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
  • Nuria Villagra García Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
  • Jorge Clemente Mediavilla Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
  • Alejandro Costa Escuredo Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
  • Ana Reyes Complutense University, Madrid, Spain


This article focuses on the agenda on the different public arenas in relation to the climate change discourse from the perspective of the young audiences: mass media arena, collaborative-activist arena, personal arena, and discussion arena. The variables represent the different axes of environmental sustainability, summarizing the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and applied to the field of the media and communication. Research questions are related to thematic categories and level of engagement both, on the traditional media arena where young audiences are mere users of news and messages, and the public arenas where they turn out to be generators of information. The results show that traditional media pay less attention to environmental issues from the perspective of activism, social justice or culture, and this can be a problem when it comes to connecting with young audiences which are very active and gives widely feedback for issues that have to do with these particular approaches and which are predominant on other arenas formed by social networks such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Activism (climate action) turned out to be the topic that generates the highest level of response/engagement.


Key words: public arenas, climate change, young audiences, environmental activism, social platforms

Original Papers