J500 Media and the Environment

Bloggers would help you by sachikom
April 15, 2008, 5:19 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , , ,

Thanks to advanced technology, we can keep track of global news simultaneously 24/7. Media cover various environmental issues around the world and people’s awareness. Visual communication, such as images of flooding in China and melting glaciers in Antarctica, leaves a strong impact on the audience’s mind and and alerts them to the consequences of humans’ selfishness.

Photo Credit: World View of Global Warming

According to the poll released by Stanford University in June 2007, 85 percent of Americans believe global warming is “probably” happening.

Although the majority of Americans are aware of the issue, some people look at the global crises as if they were watching a movie or something happening outside their world. Those people are reluctant to take action for the environment unless they have incentives to do so.

Are they lazy, selfish or immoral? I don’t think so. I understand people who feel overwhelmed by enormous amount of information. The media send out a bunch of clueless information. The audience are loosing a connection with those information. If we really need the audience’s attention, we have to establish “Why do we care?” and “What can we do?”

It is not easy to provide a reason and solution, especially if it’s international news. But as bloggers, we can serve as the bridge to connect global news to the audience. How can we then communicate with readers as a blogger and persuade them to take action?

The best way of advocacy is give a direct experience to the readers and involve them into activities. We can suggest the readers to volunteer abroad to get their hands dirty. This will connect them to a certain region and influence their actions in the future. Learning about fair trade through chocolate, coffee and tea, is a good introduction, too. Donations for green especially to a specific place might make the readers care more about the place. Also, bloggers should gather readers around the world and encourage them to communicate on their blogs. The readers can learn about different opinions, including non-American voices.

Do you have any ideas? I’d love to share your strategy and feedback.

By Sachiko Miyakawa


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think you nailed it right on the head when you said that people really are overwhelmed by this amount of information. Climate change is a huge issue that is presented in many different ways, and somewhere along the way, the facts usually get lost. This is why most people believe climate change is “probably” happening. People DO need incentives..you think that saving the world from melting would be enough of an incentive…but sometimes you have to reach people on their own level.

-Sarah Nelson

Comment by snelson33

I never thought that our role as bloggers could have such significance. We can really help guide and foster more learning and understanding of some of these environmental issues, such as global warming. We, as bloggers, can help reach people on a more intimate level than what people can see on the news.
Nice post!


Comment by denah

Getting people involved is going to be one of the biggest challenges to solving the climate change problem. I think that people do want to help, but it is a matter of time and money that prevents them from helping. Like we have discussed in class before and like Sarah just said, people need incentives to get involved. I think that the best incentive by far is money. If people learn that they can save money, more people will want to become involved with the green movement. And with the rising costs of food and gas among other things, saving money is going to become much more important.


Comment by Lindsay

I agree. Saving money appeals to many people. Convenience is as important as money to promote environmentalism. For example, if we can drink safe and tasty tap water, nobody would buy bottled water.

Along with money and convenience, we also have to involve people on a different level. Let’s say, people in Lawrence probably care more about flooding in Kansas City than flooding in China. It’s a natural response. The challenge is how we make people care about China or places which are not directly related to their lives.


Comment by sachikom


Great post and challenge to all of us! I would add that humanizing these stories helps a lot. The country of China seems vast and unwieldy to my brain. . .I feel compassion but no deep connection to polar bears or ice caps.

Short of going into nature and “getting our hands dirty,” as you say, I think the more we can narratives around real people, the better chance we have of forging connection. It’s the difference between Jennifer talking about composting toilets and explaining she has one – or Michael Pollan talking about cattle versus him buying a cow and describing her personality.

People crave connection and meaning. We want to feel valued and take part in what’s going on in the world. . .and we as bloggers can help.


Comment by j500

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: