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Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 The Environmental Performance of the Media Ecologizing Media Theory and Journalism Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 The Environmental Performance of the Media Ecologizing Media Theory and Journalism Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 The Environmental Performance of the Media Ecologizing Media Theory and Journalism Environmental Communication Class 2 September 13, 2011 Miklos Sukosd

2 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 2 Structure of lecture 1. Questions: why we need a green (ecological) journalism and media theory? 2.Context: the great narrative of the 21 st century 3.Concepts: media and the public interests 4.The environmental performance of the media 5.Conclusion: a comprehensive framework for media performance

3 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 3 1. Questions A theory of media and journalism that takes ecology into account? What are the conceptual foundations of such a theory? How could such a theory develop vision of media performance? Environmental agenda for professional and citizen journalism as well as social media? Why would we actually need an ecologically informed media theory?

4 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 4 2. Context: What is the ‘great narrative’ of the 21st century? Global environmental crisis: a key trend of contemporary global society? Global warming/climate change Overuse of non-renewable energy (coal, oil, gas) Widespread pollution of air, soil and water Waste management crisis Deforestation Massive extermination of animal & plant species Shrinking sweet water reservoirs and decreasing levels of underground water tables Areas of a systematic ecological trend

5 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 5 An ecologically sensitive approach to media and journalism Global environmental crisis: a key trend of contemporary global society? Far reaching social, economic and eventually political, securityand cultural consequences Could media and journalism theory remain ecologically non-sensitive, blind? Concepts of „public interest” or „public good” lie at heart of journalism „The public interest” could be reinterpreted with ecological concepts in media theory and practice

6 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 6 3. Concepts Key values in mainstream theories of media and journalism „Public interest”: key values of liberty, equality, access and diversity Liberty: free speech, free market, and private ownership of media Equality and access: public service media, online (especially open source) platforms Diversity: media pluralism and inclusive journalism Political ideologies originating in the 18th and 19th cent: liberalism & socialism/social democracy) The ecological aspect of the 21st century?

7 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 7 “Greening” the concept of public interest Concept: The ecological footprint Ecologically informed media and journalism theory: infuse with concepts from environmental sciences EF a measure of human consumption of natural resources, compared with the ability of the Earth’s ecosystems to regenerate EF compares human demand on nature with nature’s capacity to renew resources and provide services EF calculates the areas of biologically productive land and marine areas that are needed to satisfy consumption by human societies vs. the areas that are needed to recreate resources that human populations consume EF real life indicator of environmental sustainability

8 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 8 Other ecological concepts related to the public interest The tragedy of the commons - moral issue The rights of future generations – moral issue Environmental justice - moral issue Biodiversity - moral issue Sustainability, ecological modernization, Green capitalism The concept of „public interest” could be „ecologized”

9 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 9 4. The environmental performance of media The more media organizations contribute to sustainable development: The higher their environmental performance 3 areas: a) Content: The more they cover environmental agendas, use environmental frames and discourses b) Audience/users impact: The more they decrease their users/audiences ecological footprint c) Direct environmental performance: Media’s direct ecological footprint

10 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 10 “The EPM equation” EPM= a)Media content: The more media engage environmental agendas, use environmental frames and discourses + b) Audience/users’ environmental impact: The more they decrease their users/audiences ecological footprint + c) Direct environmental performance: Media’s own ecological footprint: energy use + e-waste

11 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 11 Environmental journalism 2.0 Not just environmental journalism as a particular field (Environmental journalism 1.0) Adding environmental angles to other news areas: - business/stock markets news and analysis - cultural news and analysis - design news and analysis - architecture news and analysis - (motor) sports news and analysis -huge sport events (World Cup, Olympics, etc.) news and analysis Assisting users/audiences to ACT (e.g., recycle, donate, document, crowdsource, petition, organize, mobilize)

12 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 12 Environmental impact of entertainment and advertisements Entertainment: soap operas, television series, feature films, quiz shows, talent shows, music videos, and stand-up comedy. Commercial advertisement: marketing of goods and services with a high ecological footprint Consumer culture as the major cause of environmental crisis Commercial vs. public service television

13 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 13 Ecologically informed media policy Media policy serving the goal of high environmental performance of media Content issues: - the education of environmental journalists - promoting responsible, ‘smart consumption’ - assisting environmental action by audinces /users (traditional and new/social media) Standards of ecological footprint of media organizations: - energy efficient hardware to ensure energy savings - recycling of electronic waste (monitors, computers, printers, mobile phones, etc.)

14 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 14 Some empirical questions (examples) Environmental performance of individual media organizations (CNN, BBC, Apple Daily, RTHK)? EP of traditional and social media? EP of media users/communities? What is the environmental footprint of a Google search, or a Twitter tweet vs. user’s env. actions? What is the ecological footprint of making a movie with an ecological utopia like Avatar? How would the transformation from traditional broadcast/print to online media affect carbon footprints? How could media production and use be made more sustainable? Comprehensive, holistic view of media EP

15 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Conclusion: a comprehensive framework for media performance a)Sustainability as a public communication value b)A comprehensive framework of principles of media performance (based on Denis McQuail, Media Performance (1992)

16 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 16

17 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 17

18 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 18 Thank you for your attention


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