Regaining Control over Nature or Learning to Live in Harmony with It: Media Framing of Environmental Issues Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

At the time of the global crisis caused by COVID-19, when people become more open to changing their lifestyle and mindset, the Ukrainian online news media adjust the way they present environmental issues by relying more on messages that speak to people’s attitudes and values. This study considers linguistic (evaluative and figurative expressions, facticity and evidentiality markers) and non-linguistic means (visuals) which Ukrainian newsmakers use in directing readers’ attention and offering them a particular perspective on environmental issues. At the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the main ‘sustainable’ frames supported by the Ukrainian online media are those of resilience and pragmatism of individuals, their collaboration and mutual support, collective efficacy in bringing positive environmental changes, strength of the Ukrainian government initiating the changes and ensuring their implementation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ukrainian news outlets show themselves sensitive to the shifting perceptions of public and planetary health, attempting to enrich the national idea by ecological thinking, which presupposes a new ecological culture of co-existence.

COVID-19 pandemic, environment, framing, online news media, Ukraine