the role of media in reporting key environmental issues in different societies

Topics: Journalism, Mass media, Climate change Pages: 11 (1129 words) Published: April 28, 2015
The role of (private and
public) media in reporting
key environmental issues
in different societies.
Hai Tran – 43759645
Sue Hao -

April 2nd, 2015

Outline
Introduction

◦ Climate Change
◦ Human Activities & Climate Change
◦ Media & Climate Change
Chapter

6: News Media &
Environmental Journalism
Case studies
◦ US
◦ China: “Under the dome” documentary
Discussion

Climate Change
What

is it?

Change in the statistical properties of
the climate system when considered
over long periods of time, regardless
of cause
Refer specifically to climate change
caused by human activity, as
opposed to changes in climate that
may have resulted as part of Earth's
natural processes. In this sense,
especially in the context
of environmental policy, the
term climate change has become
synonymous with anthropogenic
(Pielke 2004)
global warming.

Climate Change
•Effects
Climate change is already affecting
the physical surface of the earth, the
environment that provides our life
support, our food supply, economy
and society. These changes will
accelerate over the next few decades

Climate Change
Human

Activities?

Anthropogenic factors are human activities which affect the
climate. The scientific consensus on climate change is "that climate is changing and that these changes are in large
part caused by human activities, and it "is largely
irreversible."
(United States National Research Council)

Climate Change & Media
Balanced?

One-sided?

Inclusive?

News Media &
Environmental Journalism
Growth and Nature of
Environmental News
1960s---news stories and visual images
of environmental concerns began to
appear
the photo of the Earth from astronauts on
Apollo 8 in 1968 & TV film of an oil spill
off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969
the next decades, the environmental
news expand and wane
(Cox, R. 2013 Environmental Communication and the

Characteristics of
environmental News
“a

handful of news organizations”(Wyss,
2008,p.ix)
Formidable force –Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
in 1990, creation of the Society of Environmental
Journalists(SEJ)
1910s, 1400 journalists identified as
environmental reporters in the U.S. 7,500 in other
countries(Wyss, 2008,p.ix)
Release of reports by Scientific or governmental
bodies, and environmental stories must compete
with news of war, unemployment, terrorism and
other breaking news.

Rise and Fall of
Environmental
News
grew in coverage
The Tyndall Report

the of
controversial
tracked a low
174
policies
the Bush
minutes in 1996 forofthe
trend
administration-the
6
major
TV news
reports
relaxing
rules5.5
forattacks on
and 195 minutes inofTerrorist
drinking
World Trade
1998(Hall, arsenic
2001) in the
4 water
Center and
the year of the Exxon
Pentagon on 2.9
Valdez
oil
spill
in
Alaska.
2.5
Sep.11, 2001
Global
3 warming:
The Tyndall Report
2
Al Gore’s documentary film
reported environmental
stories in 774 An Inconvenient Truth(2006) –
warning of the dangers of
minutes(Hall,2001)
climate
change
&
1980s
1989 global
1990
2001
2001-2004
2006 2010-2020
United Nation’s
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change report in
early 2007

and reached an
early peak after
Earth Day
5

1970s

Journalistic Norms &
Constraints
Newsworthiness

Media frames

Objectivity &
Balance

Newsworthiness
Ability

of a news story to attract
readers or viewers.

Newsworthiness
Environmental

news coverage

feature stories:
Event-centred
Strong visual elements
24-hour daily cycle

Newsworthiness
Challenges

for environmental

stories
◦ Lack visual quality
◦ Involve slower, more diffuse, and
drawn-out process
 Make environmental news both
accurate & newsworthy

Media frames
Central

organising themes... That connect
different elements of a news story into a
coherent whole to suggest what is at issue
(Rodriguez 2003...
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