Fracking in the Polish press: Geopolitics and national identity

Rusi Jaspal, Brigitte Nerlich, Szczepan Lemańcyzk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a context of resource scarcity and political instability, new energy sources and technologies are being explored in many parts of the world and exploited in some. One of these new energy sources is shale gas and one of the countries seeking to decrease its energy dependence and increase its energy security is Poland which is largely dependent on gas and oil imports from Russia. This article presents the results of a thematic content analysis of articles reporting on shale gas/fracking published in Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita, two leading Polish newspapers, from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2012. Findings suggest that in media reporting the geopolitical dimension of fracking overrides the technological/scientific dimension and that representations are overwhelmingly positive. Positive representations are bolstered through particular linguistic framings. It is argued that the Polish press has polarized the debate on fracking in a particular (positive) direction, which has silenced an open and constructive debate concerning energy policy in Poland and constructed criticism of fracking as counter-normative and “un-Polish.” The potential socio-political and policy implications of these media representations are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-261
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


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