Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Media Tend To Doomsay When Addressing Environmental Issues

Date:
July 9, 2009
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Researchers analyzed the role played by the media in creating and spreading a stance regarding the protection of the environment, sustainable development and natural heritage.

This study, undertaken by researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UBC), analyses the role played by the media in creating and spreading a stance regarding the protection of the environment, sustainable development and natural heritage.

Related Articles


This research, published in the latest issue of the Revista Latina de Comunicación Social (Latin Journal of Social Communication in English) proposes and performs an analysis of the dialectic strategies used by the daily press to treat environmental information. Jose Ignacio Lorente, a lecturer at the UBC and one of the researchers who participated in the project told SINC that the study was concerned with "the way in which social communication media, particularly news media, contribute to creating and spreading social visions of sustainable development and the conservation and protection of the environment in general and natural heritage in particular".

The research team studied the information published in connection with the environmental summit held in Bali in 2007. Apart from this analysis, the researchers complemented this information with a survey carried out in Urdaibai, the Basque Country. The questions referred to the perceptions, attitudes and willingness to participate in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change, aspects in relation to the social representations identified in the analysis of the contents of the study.

The extensive analysis of the dialectics included an evaluation of the so-called news agendas, as well as framing procedures (the way in which the media determine how they will consider and publicly present information) and priming procedures (which ensure the relevance of certain aspects of the news that sustain the reasoning behind a given interpretation of the facts).

Lorente believes the conclusions of this study suggest that "the media make an active contribution to tackling the complexity of the sustainability crisis of the current model of development, by confining their interpretation to environmental problems, but also fail to consider the social, economic and cultural aspects of a production system based on growth and the massive exploitation of natural resources".

What Happens and What the Media Says

According to the results of the study, the news agenda that the media developed regarding the Summit in Bali focused on scientific evidence of the global dimensions of climate change, the fact that its potentially devastating effects could be immediate and its anthropogenic nature. However, according to the researchers, this agenda "avoided addressing the real reasons behind the political argument in detail, by means of a narrative strategy in which dramatising conflicts, threats and delays regarding CO2 quotas prevailed," becoming the top priority for the Bali Summit.

However, Lorente adds, "the emphasis the media placed on scientific evidence regarding the human nature of the causes for climate change was not linked to citizens' sphere of activity, despite fact that their everyday decisions and behaviour - transport, energy saving, recycling - account for 20% of the problem".

According to the research by the UBC, alarmist and catastrophist news focusing on the risk of natural disasters and the urgency of political and economic action "places the emphasis on the heroic efforts of abstract and distant individuals whose motives are not always clear". This approach, they say, appears to lack references to or be based on citizen's everyday life.

Furthermore, the prominence of the eco-efficient approach (based on expectations that techno-scientific development is enough to mitigate the effects of climate change) results in the media not covering the debate in connection with the social, economic and cultural model that citizens are willing to assume and share, reinforcing instead, according to Lorente, the perspective that our current way of life, production and consumption is the only option available when it comes to interpreting development and sustainability."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. José Ignacio Lorente; José Enrique Antolín; Francisco Javier Doblas. La construcción mediática de lo ecológico. Estrategias discursivas en la información de actualidad. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, Number 64, pages 315-327

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Media Tend To Doomsay When Addressing Environmental Issues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708083230.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2009, July 9). Media Tend To Doomsay When Addressing Environmental Issues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708083230.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Media Tend To Doomsay When Addressing Environmental Issues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090708083230.htm (accessed March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) — Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Bridge Collapses Due to Flooding in Bolivia

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 28, 2015) — Heavy rain and flooding sweep through parts of Bolivia causing damage and leaves more than 2,000 people homeless. Sophia Soo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

Death Toll from Afghan Avalanches Tops 200

AFP (Feb. 27, 2015) — More than 200 people have been killed in a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Afghanistan. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

France, Philippines Call for Agreement on Climate Change

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) — The presidents of France and the Philippines issue a joint appeal for a binding agreement on climate change. Katie Sargent reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins