Environment, Media and Communication: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environment, Media and Communication

1st Edition

By Anders Hansen


236 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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Communication about ‘the environment’ in and through a broad array of news, advertising, art and entertainment media is one of the major sources of public and political understanding of definitions, issues and problems associated with the environment. Environment, Media and Communication examines the social, cultural and political roles of the media as a public arena for images, representations, definitions and controversy regarding the environment.

The book starts by discussing and outlining a framework for analyzing media and communication roles in the emergence of the environment and environmental problems as issues for public and political concern. It proceeds to examine who and what drives the public agenda on environmental issues, addressing questions about how governments, scientists, experts, pressure groups and other stakeholders have sought to use traditional as well as newer media for promoting their definitions of the key issues. The media are not merely an open public arena or stage, but rather themselves a key gate-keeper and influence in the process of communicating about the environment: the role of news values, organizational arrangements and professional practices, are thus examined next. Recognizing the importance of wider popular culture narratives to public understanding and communication about the environment and nature, the book proceeds with a discussion of the messages and moral tales communicated about the environment, science and nature in a range of media, including film and advertising media. It shows how this wider context provides important clues to understanding the successes and failures of selected environmental issues or campaigns. The book finishes with an examination of the key approaches and models used for understanding how the media influence and interact with public opinion and political decision-making on environmental issues.

Offering a comprehensive introduction to theoretical approaches and models for the study of media and communication roles regarding the environment, and drawing on empirical research evidence and examples from Europe, America, Australia and Asia, the book will be of interest to students in media/communication studies, geography, environmental studies, political science and sociology as wll as to environmental professionals and activists.


'This book is a valuable contribution to the study of environmental communication because the author has conducted extensive research to inform readers about the construction of environmental messages in various communication channels including news, advertising, and cultural formats. An in-depth discussion of environmental campaigns makes this a practical guide for working professionals as well as an educational book for college students.' – Lea Jane Parker, Northern Arizona University, USA

'Hansen has been following the environment-media-communication story with a sharp eye for nearly two decades. He gathers all that experience into this comprehensive but readable volume that is a great starting point for environment students wanting to get their heads around media and vice versa.' – Joe Smith, Open University, UK

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Communication and the Construction of Environmental Issues 3. Making Claims and Managing News About The Environment 4. The Environment as News: News Values, News Media and Journalistic Practices 5. Popular Culture, Nature and Environmental Issues 6. Selling ‘Nature/The Natural’: Advertising, Nature, National Identity, Nostalgia and the Environmental Image 7. Media, Publics, Politics and Environmental Issues

About the Author

Anders Hansen is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication, University of Leicester, UK. He is Chair of the IAMCR Working Group on Environment, Science and Risk Communication. His books include Mass Communication Research Methods (edited four-volume set, Sage, 2009), Media and Communication Research (with D.Machin, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010), and The Mass Media and Environmental Issues (Leicester University Press, 1993).

About the Series

Routledge Introductions to Environment: Environment and Society Texts

This series introduces core topics for environmental study and presents unparalleled interdisciplinary perspectives on issues of environmental concern. Focusing on human-environmental interrelationships, these concise, engaging, user-friendly texts respond particularly well to the demands of modular learning. Each text in the series features:

  • summaries of key concepts and contextual introductions to each topic
  • uniform, attractive, series design
  • informative diagrams illustrating key concepts and issues
  • annotated reading lists and end of chapter questions
  • lively global case-studies boxed throughout the text.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography