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Following the heat wave that took place in June, climatologists criticized television news for showing images of pleasure. A franceinfo team checked by taking the heat wave topics since that of 2003.

The topics TV news on the heat wave can show images of extreme lightness, images of pleasure, but also of desolation, dead animals and people hospitalized because of the heat. According to climatologists, television news would misuse leisure images during heat waves. To analyze the media’s treatment of heat waves, the franceinfo team analyzed all the news of 20 Hours of TF1 and France 2 during the heat waves of 2003, 2019 and June 2022. Of the 254 subjects devoted to the heat wave, the team advance payment which images were related to pleasure and which dealt with warmth positively.

In 2003, France suffered the worst heat wave in its history. There are a lot of light images, but especially the first days. A little less than a third of news of France 2 contained some, 10% for TF1. Positive subjects are rare, but still represent three out of 70 subjects. On the other hand, the link with climate change and the human cause est absent, even denied. In 2019, the heat wave topics illustrated with leisure images remain stable on France 2 (28%) and increase at TF1 (37%). The tone is no longer light. In 2022, no subject was treated positively on France 2, against 14% on TF1. The media still illustrate the heat wave with positively connoted images (one out of three subjects), but the tone is less light and the link with climate change increasingly exposed.

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