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U.S. News Media Coverage on Copenhagen Outcomes Confusing

12/21/09

-Keelin Kelly, Castle Rock, CO

Last Saturday, I giddily skipped to my computer, excited to read about the outcomes of the final day at the COP. However, after spending an hour or so skimming the web for information related to Copenhagen, I was just confused. Some articles called the COP mediocre and others argued it was a massive failure. One thing I did ascertain from pretty much all the articles is that Copenhagen was chaotic and contentious.

If anything, the perspective that Copenhagen, and the Copenhagen Accord, exemplify struggle, compromise, and an intermediate outcome seems correct. However, understanding that is difficult with the wide array of media reporting. Such a variation of perspectives is unsurprising but somewhat worrisome for the future global deal.

Notably, the perspective that nothing can ever be accomplished at the international level concerns me. Yes, the situation in Copenhagen was contentious. However, it is not indicative that nothing can ever happen as many news outlets report. By entrenching the rhetoric of animosity they are perpetuating the notion that striking an international compromise will always end in a stalemate.

I realize that reporting about the contentious nature of Copenhagen is a reflection of reality. However, it only surveys a certain aspect of reality. Productive things happened in Copenhagen aside from the walkouts and protests. The world came together. New connections were established. Novel ideas were exchanged. Therefore, more comprehensive reporting on Copenhagen would have been nice. In particular, a few more positive article would have been appreciated.

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