Regional Energy Trends: A comparison of the five countries analysed

Each of the countries in our study-the five “tiger cub” countries of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines-has a unique media landscape with different challenges and opportunities for energy reporting.

Trends in Energy Framing

The portrayal of coal in media closely approximates the country’s coal dependency

Looking specifically at coal reporting in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand, it is striking how much the media’s framing of coal depends on how reliant a country is on this energy type.

Renewable energy overwhelmingly framed as a lucrative investment

The outlier was Vietnam, where only 65 percent of non-hydro renewable stories portrayed these technologies positively. Vietnam doesn’t lag in terms of renewable energy development.

In Indonesia, meanwhile, where neither solar nor any other renewable energy technology has been installed in significant numbers, 96 percent of renewable energy articles adopted a positive frame.

Not all renewables are treated alike

As reporter Trung Chanh in Vietnam explained, hydropower is not considered in the same category as solar and wind because “although hydro dams don’t cause pollution similarly to the way coal plants do, they destroy biodiversity, alter fish populations and sediment levels in water sources.”

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Zulker Naeen

Zulker Naeen

South Asia Fellow at Climate Tracker