Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Dr James Painter

Senior Teaching Associate


James' teaching and research are focused on the portrayals of climate change in legacy, digital-born and social media in the UK and around the world, and environmental communication in general. This has covered a wide range of research areas including climate denialism, risk and uncertainty, animal agriculture and climate change, lab-grown meat, extreme weather events, climate niche sites and biodiversity loss.

James was the Director of the Journalism Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University for eight years until September 2017, and remains a research associate there. He is currently an external collaborator on the LEAP project at the James Martin School, also at Oxford. He has been a visiting professor at the IKMZ in the University of Zurich (2017-8), at the University of Navarra in Pamplona (2018), and at the University of Perugia (2018). He has supervised several Masters and Doctoral students at the School of Geography.

James previously worked as a journalist for several years, particularly at the BBC World Service, where he was head of the Spanish American Service, head of the BBC Miami office, and Executive Editor Americas. He has carried out several consultancies for the IPCC, IPBES, Oxfam, UNDP, Conservation International and other organisations.

His current research projects include:

  • Animal agriculture, climate change and dietary options in mainstream and social media (he is a collaborator on the LEAP project at the James Martin School at Oxford University.
  • Climate denialism in the media (he is currently working on a study of the television coverage of the August 2021 IPCC report, through a project as part of the CSSN network, coordinated out of Brown University).
  • The textual and visual media portrayals of extreme weather events, with a particular focus on Extreme Event Attribution (he is working with climate researchers at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University)
  • The growing importance of niche sites on climate change (coordinated via the University of Helsinki)






Other publications