I didn’t expect to come across this video today, but I am mighty glad that I did.
This video sums up the exact reason why I am becoming a journalist. I have found a career that really suits my personality and is something that I am extremely passionate about. I want to use my love of surf and the environment to create texts like this one, in order to spread the word, gain consensus and popularity amongst audiences, to quite simply protect this wonderful world that we live in.
I am currently writing my dissertation on the media’s reporting of the recent BP oil spill, how journalists can report on these environmental disasters in a way which is well informed. Because if the media is uninformed, so are the public. People will quite simply not know how their world is being destroyed, how possibly could they, the world is huge and no one can be everywhere at one time. Therefore the media is a brilliant resource for educating the public.
Here is a snipet from my dissertation-
'The planet Earth is unique and extraordinary. Thus, within our contemporary world it is something that should not be taken for granted; particularly because of the steadily increasing prevalence of global environmental change, which simply means we may no longer see the world as we once did. As Gummer 2000 (in Smith 2000, p. 26) argues, even before science is brought into the equation, the above point should be enough for agenda setting groups and the public to understand that the environment is something that should be taken seriously.
In fact Gaber (in Smith 2000, p. 116) and Worcester’s (in Smith 2000, p. 34) research has demonstrated that ‘environmental concerns stand high in the public’s list of priorities, even at times when the issue is barely visible above the media’s horizon.’ This arguably is because the environment is a context understood by almost everyone, in everyday life. Not only does the environment warrant its own discourse and place within the public sphere, but it also has its own relationship to the public (Hansen 1991). This is because the environment is a context that every individual comes into contact with daily.
Scientists today argue that the jeopardy of the survival of our environment is because of human ‘misuse of its natural resources and disturbance of its natural environmental systems’ (Park 2001, p.3, Lester 2010). Therefore these global environmental issues require solutions, which necessitate public decision (Park 2001, p.3), it is therefore necessary to create ‘an informed and supportive public’ (Smith 2000, p.1). Therefore it is important to consider how the public perceive the environment, how the information known about the environment is used and where that comes from. Global warming and climate change are two environmental contexts, for example that almost everyone are aware of as terms, however, not only do very few actually have a well informed understanding of these contexts, but they also highlight that ‘not all environmental problems are publicly recognised as such’ (Hansen 2010, p.13).
Constructionist perspective on social problems, suggests that social problems, such as the environment, are only brought into discussion and debate within the public arena, when the issue is raised, most often by the media (Hansen 2010, p. 3-6, Smith 2000, p. 13). Blumer was one of the first to raise this problem as it highlights that issues are not raised to public concern if the media does not pay attention to them (Hansen 2010, p. 14). Boycoff (2008) and Curran (1997) argue for example that the media provide a central foreground in which ‘contending forces’ are ‘responded to’ and mediated (Curran 1997, p.29) and the extent to which these are balanced ‘critically shape current discourses’ (Boykoff 2008, p. 11, Hansen 2010, p.6, Boykoff 2009). This central foreground, according to Boycoff (2008, p.11), is mainly mediated between ‘scientists, policy actors and the public’. As Hansen argues, the two most common perceptions of the environment that the media construct are one; that the environment should be ‘controlled and exploited in the name of progress’,or two that the environment needs protecting and should be cared for (Hansen 2010, p.6).’
Which perspective will you choose?
If it is the second one and I really hope that it is, then please please, listen to what this video is telling you. Inform and educate yourself, I really believe that it is our responsibility to stop these environmental disasters. I hope one day that I can create something as brilliant as this, as I still believe that I can make some difference to the world in which we live in and this is my way of doing so.