J500 Media and the Environment

making many meanings by marisabreg

I’m trying to decide if what we’re learning attempting to realize here is a whole new kind of communication.

I haven’t quite made up my mind yet, however.

In discussing how to approach or frame the issue of climate disruption, so far we’ve explored a number of not-so-new or novel notions to get at the information we’re interested in (sorry, I love alliteration). Things like authenticity, honesty, transparency, storytelling, storylistening… the list goes on.

These things aren’t new. In fact, I’d like to think (hope) that most people exercise these tactics in most of their everyday communication. That being said, even with the best effort, it doesn’t mean that our carefully crafted messages always get across. Messages get lost in the clutter or misunderstood or the recipient isn’t responsive to how it’s being delivered.

That’s where this new communication theory of mine comes in. I think because we’re considering the experience, situation and knowledge of our audiences (their “location”, if you will—what informs their core beliefs) it has the potential to make the message clearer or more effective or more potent or whatever.

When we privilege what is important to our audience, use important points-of-entry and use open and honest channels of communication, I think we have the best possibility of de-polarizing contentious issues, cutting through the clutter and connecting with our intended audience.

I still don’t know if this is a new kind of communication, but I certainly like the possibilities it promises.

making many meanings

Marisa B.


2 Comments so far
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You mention various techniques of communicating such as being open, transparent, honest, authentic ect. Have you had any personal successes using these that you can apply to your fieldwork? Are there any examples you can share?

Comment by susang09

Hey Susan,

Thanks for your comment. I think we’ve all had situations with co-workers, clients, friends and family members that have warranted some openness and honesty.

I’ve definitely had the experience (not the honour) of having to get past some frustration when I’ve been emotionally invested in an initiative or execution at work. I can say from my own encounters, however, that how I communicate with my colleagues has an impact on how they communicate back. I think people can tell when you’re truly being authentic and it makes it easier for them to open up and share.

I’m looking forward to my interview this week. My hope is to really listen to what my subject is saying and learn about where he and the constituency he represents is “located.”

Marisa B.

Comment by marisabreg

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